Letter by Am Echad to Members of the Israeli Knesset

NEW YORK -

27 Cheshvan 5778

November 5, 2018

To: the Honorable members of the Knesset

From: Am Echad

Media are reporting that several Knesset members will be meeting on Wednesday to discuss official Israeli Government recognition of the Reform and Conservative movements in the wake of the Pittsburgh Massacre on Shabbos October 27th.
Needless to say, the entire Orthodox community stands with our brethren in Pittsburgh in their time of pain. Orthodox Jewish groups throughout America joined fully in the mourning of the Jews killed and injured in the attack, visited the community and offered help, along with Jews all over the world.
The night of the massacre, as soon as we heard the terrible news, Am Echad put out [a] statement.
Now is the time to grieve, not to begin a potentially divisive discussion on changes to the Jewish nature of the State of Israel. Such changes in the religious status quo would represent grave danger to true Jewish unity, and are not something that has anything to do with the recent tragedy.
The State of Israel, of course, recognizes all Jews, including non-Orthodox Jews, and always has. But a single standard for personal status issues is the only way to maintain a single Am Yisrael in Israel.
Attempting to leverage the recent tragedy in order to advance a particular agenda here – especially one as potentially catastrophic to Klal Yisrael – is irresponsible and insensitive.
We respectfully ask that we all concentrate on unifying Jews all over the world in the wake of this horrific tragedy, and take up unrelated political discussions another time.

Sincerely,

Shlomo Werdiger
Co-Chair
Am Echad

Dr. Irving Lebovics
Co-Chair
Am Echad