OU Urges Preservation of Jewish Character of State of Israel

Posted on September 25, 2000 In Press Releases

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America expresses profound concern regarding Prime Minister Barak’s proposal to make sweeping changes in the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the long-standing religious status quo. We fear that this divisive proposal, with its many political implications, is being made in haste and will unnecessarily pit one Jew against another. The issues in question concern fundamental religious principles that should be addressed with utmost sensitivity and in careful consultation with all the affected parties. Israeli society and the Jewish community at large may suffer grave damage as a result of divisive and destructive actions that may undermine the Jewish nature of Medinat Yisrael. The fact that the Jewish people have always been so deeply rooted in Jewish tradition has been a source of strength and sustenance for the State of Israel. We urge that all proposals and discussions be held in a constructive and supportive atmosphere of civility and that wholesale denunciations of the Orthodox community be avoided. We hope that Prime Minister Barak will seek to preserve that which has defined the Jewish character of the Jewish state.