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New York Times Letter to the Editor by Rabbi Kleinbaum

Rabbi Kleinbaum wrote a letter to the editor on Palestinian statehood that was featured in the New York Times.

To the Editor:

I applaud the actions of my colleagues at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in taking an unequivocal stand supporting the Palestinian quest for statehood and publicizing it to their community. I support their action not only because I agree with it — and I most certainly do — but also because liberal American religion, not only Judaism, has become afraid of its own shadow and unwilling to take bold, morally complex public positions.

The bind we are in is untenable and creates boring, safe religious leadership. Our congregants frequently communicate in different ways that they don’t want controversy. We are often silenced by fears of contract negotiations. How have we become a world in which we want to hear only from those in our religious communities who reinforce what we already think?

I welcome those who disagree with me in my synagogue, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. And I hope that they appreciate knowing what I really think and enjoy engaging with me on the issues facing all of us today.

New York, Dec. 5, 2012

See the letter to the editor in the New York Times here .

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