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May 05, 1989 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-05-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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gregations should try to "at-
tract those Jews most likely
to respond" rather than try to
attract the biggest possible
crowd. He said synagogues
should "raise up the level of
discussion" to debate topics
like mercy killing and
integration.
"Rabbis need to lead into,
rather than be dragged into,
a discussion of issues," echoed
Rabbi Nelson. Rabbi Arm
added, "Religious leaders too
are human beings who can't
always come to grips with
these issues, but they can
help everyone deal with it via
Jewish law!'
In response to a question
about unaffiliated and
Reform Jews from Estelle
Sperling of Huntington
Woods, a Temple Beth El
member, Rabbi Meyerowitz
said unaffiliated Jews "will
not contribute greatly to the
future of Judaism. We are try-
ing to reach out to them."
He said Reform Judaism is
"a wonderful way for Reform
Jews to discover God" but
that the question of
patrilinealism being raised
by Reform Jews is likely to
create two camps of Jews who
will never intermarry.
Reform, Rabbi Meyerowitz
said, is defining a Jew as one
with one Jewish parent of
either sex, as opposed to
Halacha, which states the
mother must be Jewish. "We
must appeal to the leadership
of the Reform movement to
consider what they are do-
ing," the rabbi said.
He called on Reform "to ex-
hibit maturity and wisdom to
say, 'We want to be part of
Judaism as a whole.' "
Arm said there is concern
that Conservative Judaism
will accept patrilinealism in
fear of losing members to
Reform because "Conser-
vative Judaism has embraced
Reform Judaism's changes in
the past without standing up
for some principles."
However, Rabbi Meyerowitz
predicted Conservatism "will
fight patrilinealism tooth and
nail" because it "was found-
ed to 'conserve' tradition!'
Harriet Hessenthaler of
Southfield, a Temple Israel
member, said she was confus-
ed by the differences between
the three major branches of
Judaism and felt "that's what
turns people off."
Rabbi Meyerowitz, who will
succeed Rabbi Nelson as
president of the Michigan
Board of Rabbis, answered he
hopes to bring together rabbis
from all the branches. ❑

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

15

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