URJ provides many benefits

I was disappointed to learn that Central Reform Congregation is considering leaving the Union for Reform Judaism.

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As the spokesperson for CRC notes, the congregation has benefitted greatly from the many programs and resources the Union makes possible.

The URJ is the umbrella organization for the Reform Movement in North America. The Union, in partnership with the Hebrew Union College, trains our rabbis, cantors, educators and communal workers. The Union creates curricula programs and provides resources for all our congregations. The Union operates summer camps as well as engages our children in youth group activities throughout the year. The Union’s Religious Action Center in Washington D.C. is our voice for social justice and much, much more.

I hope that in CRC’s deliberation on whether to withdraw from the Union, their leadership and congregants will weigh all the benefits that are provided by the URJ.

I invite you to visit URJ.org. to learn more about the Union.

Elizabeth Linkon

member of the North American Board of Trustees and Union for Reform Judaism’s Maintenance Union Membership Committee

Cooperation and respect

I am writing in response to Michael Hamm’s letter to the editor (June 18 issue). As a member of the Jewish community that strives to be observant, and has direct experience with Torah MiTzion, I commend the effort and example set forth and lived by the Teperbergs and Bat Sheurut volunteers. They performed a valuable service to our community by planning and executing an event that brought together several different groups of our community. Our community would be strengthened if such cooperation would continue, while treating differences in belief and observance with respect. The efforts of our day school teachers should be lauded. The principals that sought common ground to work together should be commended. This lesson among multiple Federation-funded organizations for our children in achdut, unity, should be a model for many such programs in the future.

In the observant community, we are taught “All Jews are responsible for one another,” and to avoid hurtful speech. Shouldn’t we all feel empathy for the residents of Sderot that have lived with daily rocket fire for many months? May we continue to benefit from the fine example the Teperbergs and other community leaders have shown us.

Howard Goldstein

St. Louis