Focus On What Makes Us Strong
As a participant in the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial conference in San Diego, I was quite surprised at the editorial that questioned what was next for the movement (“Lingering Questions For The Reform Movement,” Dec. 20). Rather than reaching out to those of us who were at the conference — there were many from the Baltimore and Washington areas — you chose to comment in a vacuum. You should have rather focused on the Saturday morning worship that celebrated the end of Rabbi David Ellenson’s leadership of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the appointment of Rabbi Angela Buchdahl as the senior rabbi at Central Synagogue in New York City, the participation from the lay leadership of the affiliate organizations in the Torah service and the varied workshops with teachers from many different streams of Judaism. Instead, you focused, strangely, on the sale of one of our floors of our New York offices.
As an active member of the Board of Trustees of URJ and a member of all of the movement’s financial committees I can say that the sale of the offices in New York was part of a long-term strategy and that the space that was sold was excess space. The $1 million additional investment in youth was overwhelmingly supported by the leadership of URJ and was discussed and voted on prior to the sale of the space. The investment in youth programming would have occurred whether or not the office space had been sold.