Statement in Response to MK Rotem's Remarks

Posted on: Wednesday February 5, 2014

NEW YORK – In response to reports that MK David Rotem, Chair of the Knesset Committee on Constitution, Law and Justice, stated in a committee meeting that “The Reform Movement is not Jewish … they are another religion”, the leadership of Conservative Judaism, including Rabbis Julie Schonfeld and Rabbi Steven Wernick of the Rabbinical Assembly and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, respectively, issued the following statement:

The Jewishness of the Reform Movement is beyond question and in no need of defense. The government of the State of Israel needs to respond appropriately, to censure MK David Rotem and other MKs who permit themselves behavior that the public good ought not permit to them. We call upon the Prime Minister and the Israeli government to preclude MK Rotem from roles in which his behavior is harmful to the State of Israel and Jewish unity around the world. While the Conservative/Masorti Movement around the world is vigilant every day to protect and advocate for our beloved State of Israel, we can only express lamentation for the utter lack of leadership that makes these outrages so frequent and undermines the very aspirations that are the foundations of Judaism and the Jewish state.

  • Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Executive Vice President, Rabbinical Assembly
  • Rabbi Steven Wernick, CEO, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
  • Edward Edelstein, Executive Director, Jewish Educators Assembly
  • Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, American Jewish University
  • Prof. David Golinkin, President, and Saul Sanders, Chair, The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies
  • Rabbi Tzvi Graetz, Executive Director, Masorti Olami and MERCAZ Olami
  • Laura Lewis, Executive Director, Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel 
  • Yizhar Hess, Executive Director and CEO, Masorti Movement in Israel
  • Janet Tobin, President, and Rabbi Robert R. Golub, Executive Director, MERCAZ USA
  • Rabbi Charles Simon, Executive Director, Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs
  • Sarrae Crane, Executive Director, Women's League of Conservative Judaism
  • Marc Neiwirth, President, and Harry Hauser, Executive Director, NAASE