Does Israel live in Diaspora Synagogues?
On May 7th a piece by Makom’s Robbie Gringras appeared in the Jewish Week. We reproduce it here, since it appears to have stirred some controversy. While it was written with respect and even affection, it also offered a critique of the way an Upper West Side synagogue might symbolize a distancing from Israel. This was, of course, a one-off, snap-shot view, that could not (and perhaps should not) be seen to represent all that one synagogue has to say about Israel.
The questions about where a connection to Israel might fit into Jewish ritual, how Zionist thinking might or might not harmonize with Diaspora credo, and how progressive approaches to Judaism might affect Israel itself, are all key questions worth delving into.
We have approached several figures in the North American Rabbinic and Educational establishment for their thoughts and responses to Robbie’s piece, and genuinely hope a deep and constructive discourse might ensue. In the meantime Robbie has also written a follow-up piece…