The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) has a press release on their web site opposing the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. The Union claims to be the representative of 1.5 Million Reform Jews in the U.S. They may well be, but I wonder if they polled their membership on this issue?
Yesterday Senator Diane Feinstein, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated it would be improper to make judgment on Judge Alito before the hearings begin. Yet, that is exactly what the URJ has done.
You might ask why would this organization be taking such a stand? That is a good question. Nowhere in their bylaws or mission statement does it mention political activities. In fact, since the group is a non-profit organization, their involvement in political issues might be against their charter, and might cause problems with their tax-exempt status.
It is not uncommon for an organization that has other purposes when it is formed to be hijacked by activists to use it as a base for their own ideals. The statement against Alito says “Representatives of the 1.5 million [Reform] Jews in North America.” That sure is a lot of people and thus should wield large influence among the unknowing. The unknowing, being those who are unaware that the organization has no basis to make these statements in the first place and that the decision was not made on a democratic basis.
So what are Alito’s crimes that would cause him to be slapped down by the URJ days before his hearings? The URJ says he “Would threaten the protection of the most fundamental rights.” “On choice, women’s rights, civil rights and the scope of federal power, Alito (read Bush) would shift the ideological balance of the Supreme Court.”
Making the arguments against Alito was the Vice-President for the People for the American Way. So whose meeting was this – the URJ or activist left-wing political groups?
On top of this, the voting was done by a voice vote despite many non-delegates being in the room. One might question what affiliation those guests had who were there for this political hijacking.
The URJ should focus on its mission as defined by its by-laws and tell its activists to leave their political opinions at home or join an organization formed for that purpose.
As I said in this previous post, the Union for Reform Judaism has lost its way. The URJ, which represents the largest branch of organized Judaism in the United States, constitutes the extreme left of American political thought and of American Jews. The concern of the Union is no longer “what is best for the Jews,” but what is best for the cause of American political liberalism.