US Orthodox rabbinic orgs express support for incoming government

In a statement released by the RAA, rabbis criticize progressive rabbis for speaking out against Netanyahu’s new government.

 UTJ LEADER Yitzchak Goldknopf is setting the tone of the new government and religion and state in Israel. Will Benjamin Netanyahu give him everything?  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
UTJ LEADER Yitzchak Goldknopf is setting the tone of the new government and religion and state in Israel. Will Benjamin Netanyahu give him everything?
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Two American Orthodox Jewish organizations have published a statement expressing support for the incoming Benjamin Netanyahu-led government and criticized progressive rabbis for speaking out against it.

“The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce joined by The Rabbinical Alliance of America (RAA – in Hebrew, Igud HaRabbonim), condemns the hateful comments promulgated by fringe Jewish groups against the work of the new government of the State of Israel,” the statement said. It was signed by J. Morton Davis, chairman of the Orthodox Chamber of Commerce; Duvi Honig, founder and CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce; and Rabbi Mendy Mirecznik, executive vice president of the RAA.

“With antisemitism surging across the world and peril on the rise to Jews everywhere, it is nothing short of shocking that a group of people who identify themselves to the world as Jewish leaders can move to inspire even more hate and anti-Israel sentiment,” they said of the progressive rabbinic letter of more than 330 American rabbis. The group has pledged to block members of the religious-Zionist bloc in Netanyahu’s new government from speaking at their synagogues and have said they will lobby to keep them from speaking in their communities.

“We are pained that a group of 330 people who style themselves as rabbis from the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements, some of whom occupy prominent roles in major cities, pledged a boycott of elements of the incoming government of Israel,” the statement said. “The plans to block members of the government from ‘speak[ing] at our congregations and organizations… and participating in other fora across our communities’ will further the goals of our enemies across the globe.”

More than “1,000 rabbis of the RAA and the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce call for American support of the Israeli government across the board,” the two organizations said.

 KIPPOT ARE on display at the Mahaneh Yehuda market in Jerusalem. ‘I and many others like me no longer feel comfortable wearing the knitted kippah, long the emblem of modern Orthodox Zionism, in public,’ says the writer.  (credit: SOPHIE GORDON/FLASH90) KIPPOT ARE on display at the Mahaneh Yehuda market in Jerusalem. ‘I and many others like me no longer feel comfortable wearing the knitted kippah, long the emblem of modern Orthodox Zionism, in public,’ says the writer. (credit: SOPHIE GORDON/FLASH90)

When asked by The Jerusalem Post for a list of rabbis who have signed, a representative said the two organizations have approximately 1,000 rabbis who are members. The rabbis were not identified.

“Merely three years following the befriending of Israel by Arab nations, through the signing of the landmark Abraham Accords, American Jewish clergy have shamefully become those to condemn the Jewish state, battling it for the hearts and minds of American Jewry,” Honig said in a statement. “It’s a disgrace to have clergy members, who are not recognized by the authentic Jewish faith, pretend to represent the interests of the Jewish world. With friends like these, who needs enemies?”

What is the RAA?

The RAA is an American national rabbinic organization founded in 1942 that has more than 900 members “across a broad spectrum of Orthodox Judaism,” who serve as “congregational leaders, religious teachers, chaplains, heads of Jewish organizations and communal leaders,” according to its website.

The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce is a “global umbrella of businesses of all sizes, along with leading professionals, elected officials and communal activists,” according to its website. “The Chamber empowers its members and the broader community to network with each other and harness this invaluable network to stimulate economic opportunity and positively affect the public policy of governments around the world.”