As a co-chair of the J Street Rabbinic Cabinet (representing 800 rabbis from across the religious streams and hundreds of American Reform rabbis), as member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR – the Reform Rabbinical association) for the past 34 years, as congregational Rabbi serving a Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) synagogue (part of a total of 1.4 million American Reform Jews), I am proud of the CCAR, the URJ, the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA), and the Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) for their support of including J Street as a member of the Presidents Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations to take place this week.
The vote by any of these Reform organizations in favor does NOT mean that each of these groups endorses the viewpoint of J Street. It does signify, however, that our Reform movement organizations understand the importance of being as inclusive as possible of diverse points of view in the American Jewish community vis a vis Israel and American Jewish life.
J Street has earned clear bona fides as a pro-Israel American Zionist organization supporting two-states for two peoples in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and is committed to the two-state solution despite the discontinued negotiations.
I want to thank most especially my friend and colleague, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the President of the Union for Reform Judaism, who led the way early on in advocating for inclusion of J Street in the Presidents Conference.
The immediate past-President of the URJ, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, has written a compelling rationale for J Street being included in his Haaretz op-ed “J Street is Part of the American Jewish Family.” (http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.587822)
I can only hope that other Presidents of Major Organizations will read Rabbi Yoffie’s piece and vote for inclusion whether or not they agree with J Street’s positions.