Do Not Shy From Controversy

The world is full of controversial issues.  Issues that will not simply go away by ignoring them.  If we are concerned with their outcome because we have a stake in them, be it financially, politically, emotionally, or otherwise, then we need to take a position and work in what ever way we can and are comfortable to bring a peaceful and humane resolution. Ideally, a resolution is reached through dialogue, education, respect and sensitivity, and compromise. 

I believe the decision by the Presbyterian Church to divest of three businesses because of their relationship to Israel and the Palestinian cause is such an issue.  Recently I posted an article which appeared in Haaretz to our Temple Facebook page which was written by a past URJ President, Rabbi Eric Yoffie.  As most of you likely know, the current URJ President, Ric Jabobs, has also spoken out and written about how Church’s vote undermines Presbyterian-Jewish relations.  Others present a view which supports the actions of the JVP organization and their promotion of the divestiture. 

One Rabbi, A. Hirsch posted an open letter expressing great pain and supreme disappointment over the Church’s action. He took the church’s decision firmly and critically to task.

As a temple with an active adult education learning program, and a congregation which embraces life-long learning, Vassar Temple need not shy away from controversial topics.  In fact, we often meet such issues head-on through adult education classes, rabbi sermons, private conversations, and also use of social media.  Such is ONE of the ways to use a blog.  To bring to light issues which do concern us in hopes of fostering constructive interactions.  The blog is a better place for this post, so I will be removing the Facebook post.   

This year Vassar Temple will present an adult education lecture series on the subject of Borders.  While the curriculum and details are not yet available, I encourage our members and friends to come to this free program and see & hear first hand how Vassar Temple approaches controversial topics in the most healthy and interesting way!    


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