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Letter to the Editor (Jewish Advocate)

01/09/13 — We write in response to the December 27 front page article, "ADL, CJP Newton Reaction Raises Questions of Integrity." We are dismayed by the baseless accusations and insinuations that are included and the sensational tone in which the article is written. Both the headline above and the article itself demonstrate editorial hyperbole and overreach.

The article cites the opinions of several individuals, including one who refuses to be identified, who conclude that because they had not been given copies of an internal report prepared by the ADL about events (which initially took place two academic years ago) "indicates that no such reports were ever prepared." These few individuals (who certainly do not represent "the [Boston area Jewish] public" should not be credentialed by The Advocate as they attempt to impugn the integrity of three of our most significant Jewish organizations and their leaders, CJP, JCRC and ADL, because these organizations have jointly condemned the attacks against the Newton Public Schools.

We are pleased that the ADL has released its report. We can discuss and even argue about the question of whether that report should have been released sooner, and whether there was sufficient transparency in this matter. The core texts of our rabbinic and later texts support the value of honest and respectful disagreement as a cherished feature of Jewish life. However, when those disagreements descend into baseless accusation, name-calling, and calling into question the truthfulness and integrity of some of the finest and most dedicated leaders of our community we believe a line has been crossed and the fabric of our community has been damaged.

The Advocate and its staff should be held to a higher standard of journalistic ethics than we discover in the article that we have referenced. We expect better and so do the members of our congregations, and the other Jewish communal organizations and institutions we lead and serve.

Rabbi Howard L. Jaffe

On behalf of 60 rabbis of the Boston area Jewish Community

Signatories

Rabbi Susan Abramson
Rabbi Alison Adler
Rabbi Katy Allen
Rabbi Thomas Alpert
Rabbi Samuel Barth
Rabbi Fred Benjamin
Rabbi Daniel Berman
Rabbi Allison Berry
Rabbi Herman Blumberg
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfled
Rabbi Caryn Broitman
Rabbi Braham David
Rabbi Lisa Eiduson
Rabbi Ilana Foss
Rabbi Jeff Foust
Rabbi Ronne Friedman
Rabbi Wesley Gardenswartz
Rabbi Everett Gendler
Rabbi Neal Gold
Rabbi Jonas Goldberg
Rabbi Robert Goldstein
Rabbi Art Green
Rabbi Terry Greenstein
Rabbi Eric Gurvis
Rabbi Anne Heath
Rabbi Howard Jaffe
Rabbi Dan Judson
Rabbi Earl Kideckel
Rabbi Claudia Kreiman
Rabbi David Kudan
Rabbi Judith Kummer
Rabbi Harold Kushner
Rabbi Karen Landy
Rabbi Ruth Langer
Rabbi Benjamin Lefkowitz
Rabbi Allan Lehmann
Rabbi David Lerner
Rabbi Emily Mathis
Rabbi Bernard Mehlman
Rabbi Rim Meirowitz
Rabbi David Mersky
Rabbi Jeremy Morrison
Rabbi Tracy Nathan
Rabbi David Paskin
Rabbi Barbara Penzner
Rabbi Carl Perkins
Rabbi Jay Perlman
Rabbi Jill Perlman
Rabbi Victor Reinstein
Rabbi Michelle Robinson
Rabbi Rachel Schoenfeld
Rabbi Rachel Silverman
Rabbi Scott Slarskey
Rabbi Matthew Soffer
Rabbi Toba Spitzer
Rabbi Keith Stern
Rabbi Andrew Vogel
Rabbi Moshe Waldoks
Rabbi David Weiner
Rabbi Julie Wolkoff
Rabbi Elaine Zecher
Rabbi Deborah Zuker