New York – ADL Calls On Israeli Knesset Member To Apologize For Saying Reform ‘Is Not Jewish’

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    FILE - Dudu Rotem, a Knesset member of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party adresses the Israeli parliament on July 31, 2013. Photo by FLASH90New York – ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman called for an apology on Wednesday after Yisrael Beytenu MK David Rotem called Reform Judaism “not Jewish” and “another religion” during a committee discussion on Tuesday.

    Rotem, who is Orthodox and the Chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, made the remarks during a discussion on changing Israel’s child adoption law.

    In an open letter to Rotem, Foxman wrote: “We are deeply disturbed by reports of comments attributed to you about the Reform movement ‘not being Jewish.’ Such views are inappropriate, offensive and unjustified.”

    Foxman added that this kind of “rejectionist” rhetoric “fosters divisiveness and feelings of alienation toward elements of Israeli society.”

    Gilad Kariv, executive director of the Reform movement in Israel, called on Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to reprimand Rotem.

    “An assertion such as this makes it impossible for lawmaker Rotem to continue to chair discussions on sensitive issues such as conversion, who is a Jew and other topics that are associated with religion and state matters, and the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora,” Kariv said.

    A statement from the Reform movement in Israel pointed out that use of the expression “another religion” was deliberate, since Israel’s Law of Return uses the same term to exclude non-Jews from making aliyah.

    By using the term, the statement said, Rotem is saying Reform Jews have no place in Israel.

    The leadership of the Conservative movement — including Rabbi Julie Schonfeld of the Rabbinical Assembly and Rabbi Steven Wernick of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism — in a statement Wednesday lamented “the utter lack of leadership that makes these outrages so frequent and undermines the very aspirations that are the foundations of Judaism and the Jewish state.”

    Saying “The Jewishness of the Reform Movement is beyond question and in no need of defense,” the statement called on the government of Israel to censure Rotem and remove him from leadership roles.

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    31 COMMENTS

        • You don’t know what you are talking about. Christianity is a messianic religion…you might say, nebuch, that it’s closer to today’s “Moshichists” – but to Reform? No way.

        • I think the better way to say is that Reform isn’t Yiddishkeit…no honest person could deny that, unless he or she was all wrapped up in emotional defenses as to their status as a Yid.

      • No they arent. Dont be absurd.

        Rotem did not say that reform Jews are not Jewish, he is saying that the “reform Movement” is not jewish. Which is true, it lacks ANY of the identifying characteristics of Judaism, save the fact that (most/many of) its adherents are ethnically Jews. A movement that rejects the divine authenticity of the Torah, denies the existence of the One G-d, can not be called a Jewish movement.

        Can one claim to observe the Catholic faith if he rejects the authority of the Pope, the Catholic Saints, authenticity of the christian bible, or the existence and role of Yushke? Can a group of atheists claim to be a branch of Islam?

        A Judaism without Torah mSinia, belief in G-d, Bris Milah, and Kedusha, is no form of Judaism. That is why “Reform” is “No-form” of Judaism, despite its adherents being 100% Jewish in that they are still mechayev in mitzvos like the rest of us, whether or not they believe it.

        Its about time we told Foxman and the ADL to please go away.

    1. Perhaps “The Jewishness of the Reform Movement is beyond question”, but the Jewish status of many of their members is indeed quesionable. In both Brooklyn and Manhattan are so called women “rabbis” who are not actually Jewish. Any children they bear would be non Jewish children born to a “rabbi”.

    2. Rotem is known as a boorish and arrogant political hack…I’m not sure why Foxman feels its even necessary to respond to this clown for making such a hateful comment.

    3. And what exactly is “reformed” judism?”Re formed” from what? Orthodox judism! A reformed Jew that believes that what he is doing is more the word of G-d then what is explicitly written in the Torah is only fooling himself. You either practice or you don’t. You either keep Shabbos and it’s 39 malachos or you don’t. Reform is not another religion it is rather a “tinock sh’nishbor” – they literally don’t know any better. Ask the Uri Zohars of the world…. if they would have the choice of reform or Torah u’mitzvos why did they choose full frumkit.
      No Rotem should not apologize for pointing out the obvious (which is the way most Frum people feel ) but he should apoligize for making remarks which may be hurtful to other Jews in a time when we need to band together and not show animosity one to another regardless of belief.

      • The founders were members of the Jewish faith who wanted a religion that mirrored the dominent faith in Germany in the 1800’s. The Sabbath on Sunday was one of their innovations, repealed in Charleston years later.

    4. He did not speak about jews who are members of the reformed movement , he spoke about the movement itself.
      Well I agree with him , ” the reformed movement has nothing to do with jewish religion “

    5. Absurd MK member. During shabbas, a jew should consider every person who is jewish his or her brothers and sisters. This clearly includes the reform. The best you can say is that they do not give Torah enough respect.

      • “During shabbas, a jew should consider every person who is jewish his or her brothers and sisters.”

        So what should we can consider deform Jews to be during the six days of the week? Safek yid safek goy?

    6. There are no reform Jews, only reform “rabbis”. The former are in the category of tinok shenishbah. The latter are guilty of meisis umeidi’ach, and will have to bear judgement for their nefarious crimes.

      The reform movement, as was pointed out by many here, bears no resemblance to Judaism.

    7. Article on recent
      Reform movement and Israeli Government development.

      Written by Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui —
      Rabbi at Chabad of Palm Beach Florida for the past thirty years.

      Israeli government money was transferred for the first time to the Reform Movement in Israel to pay the salaries of four community Reform rabbis.

      “This is a historic and important step in the long struggle toward pluralism, religious freedom and the recognition by the State of Israel of all branches of Judaism,” Rabbi Gilad Kariv, director of the Reform Movement in Israel,” told Haaretz.

      There is nothing historic about this move at all. During the times of the first Temple in Israel, and even more so during the second Temple, the authorities in the land of Israel, sponsored all kinds of factions against our Torah. Those kings helped destroy Jewish Unity, since there remained nothing to hold everyone together, and they succeeded in preventing G-ds blessings. Scolded by our prophet’s, messengers of G-d, those were bad times for the Jewish people. These Kings are gone, and so are all those various kinds and types of groups, gone.

      Unfortunately like mostly everything else in history that repeats its

    8. Unfortunately like mostly everything else in history that repeats itself, the old self destructive patterns have evolved into today’s rehashed, sad and tragic situation.

      When Rabbi Alexander Schindler President of the Reform movement was challenged regarding his best-known, and most-controversial, pronouncement to accept Patrilineal Descent (recognizing as Jewish, children of Jewish fathers) and “outreach” to non-Jews he responded, ‘either you accept Halacha (Traditional Jewish Law) or you are outside Halacha. We have chosen to be outside.”

      Halacha is traditional Jewish law, collected from the Bible and its interpretations in the Talmud, transmitted over thousands of years, such as kosher laws, Sabbath observance and family purity etc. These laws although not always observed fully by all Jews, they have always been embraced and respected as given by G-d for all time and for all the Jewish people.

      The Reform unilaterally decided to jump ship like the Christians, and other faiths that base much or some of their current practices on the Jewish Bible. In this case however, the Reform sells themselves as merely another expression of

    9. The practices and beliefs of the Reform movement is not an authentic “other” stream and branch of Judaism. They are in their own words, completely foreign to the practices of our forefathers who held dearly onto our covenant with G-d, as expressed in our Holy Torah. They, have decided to be on the outside. Your average Reform rabbi eats non-kosher and doesn’t believe in putting on Teffilin and knows nothing of family purity.

      You can’t have the temerity to rebel against tradition and then compound that impudence by fighting and complaining when given the place you yourself chose to be, on the outside.

      Recently I was reading about a new growing industry that produces fake “classic” cars. There’s lots of money to be made on authentic old classic cars. Well, when there is an opportunity to make lots of money the scam artists start getting busy.

      They find an old engine or other significant part of an old classic and build the new/old car around this authentic part. They will leave car parts out in the rain to get rusty, and they will buy an old movie theater for its old leather seats and find an identification number for the car through research of an “old classic”.

    10. They will buy some old screws, nuts and bolts, but it’s all a fake and a fraud. These cars need to be examined by experts to authenticate if they are really connected with the past and a true classic, or a modern day fraud.

      The comparison is pretty clear and obvious.
      It is a clear fact that in all the countries where the reform and conservative movement have not taken a stronghold, assimilation and intermarriage is significantly less. The Jewish communities are more cohesive and as a result the overall retention of the Jews with Judaism is considerably higher.

      In America today, Jewish federations are faced with the frightening reality that the younger generation is giving less, and they feel less of a reason to identify themselves with Israel. Within the traditional circles, identity with Israel and giving to charitable causes is at an all-time high.

      The Reform and Conservative movement are overall a dying breed if not for the fact that both movements have continued to relax and diminish old traditional standards in order to expand their numbers using newly concocted procedures.

      Ki MiTzion Taitzeh Torah. Israel is forever the shining light and example to the w

    11. Ki MiTzion Taitzeh Torah. Israel is forever the shining light and example to the world. Throughout the ages the only factor and influence that holds us together and unites us, is our one covenant – Torah Achas. Let us recognize this force and not splinter it.

      Those who choose to be on the outside, that is their prerogative. But let us, not confuse their choice and our G-d given strength.

    12. Similarly, back in the ’90’s when Rabbi David Hollander z”l, called Conservative Judaism non-authentic Judaism;
      but the New York Times reported that he said Conservative Jews were non-authentic Jews

    13. Similarly, Back in the 1990’s , Rabbi David Hollander Z”L said Conservative Judaism is not authentic Judaism, but the N.Y. Times reported him as saying Conservative Jews are not authentic Jews. It caused a big stir

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