Free Speech for Free Jews


Unlike the repressive regime in Iran, Americans and our leaders take free speech quite seriously. We at the Jewish Light are committed to publishing a wide variety of viewpoints in our newspaper and online. Yet several recent letters, with fairly scathing rhetoric by Jews against Jews, have tested our limits rather significantly.

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We of course reserve the right to reject or edit submissions that do not adhere to clear guidelines. Libelous comments, offensive language, and statements of hate directed at specific individuals, generally do not meet with our publishing standards.

The trickier part is when writers take issue with institutions or concepts. One of the beauties of our Jewish community is its diversity, with different movements, synagogues and organizations choosing to observe and practice in varying fashions. But this breadth also comes with a price, which is the open exchange of dialogue about issues pertaining to Jewish thought.

We sincerely believe that any expression of ideas, let alone those that supposedly emanate from Jewish voices, should be posited in a respectful manner. But one person’s disrespect is another’s honest disagreement, and the area between can be gray indeed.

Whenever possible, we will err on the side of freedom of expression.We understand this creates discomfort for some, while others will view sharp dialogue as inconsistent with Jewish unity and community. As an indepedendent Jewish news organization, we work continuously to achieve the proper balance between candor and civility. We do not always get it right – and you will be the first to tell us so – but we take the responsibility very seriously, and work at it constantly. That’s our obligation to you.