I am writing to you from Manhattan as I prepare to return to Seattle tomorrow. The Rabbinical Council of America convention that I had the good fortune to attend focused on a number of key issues concerning the Jewish community both nationally and internationally. The issue of child abuse in the Jewish and broader community was a central focus as were issues in Jewish education and the need for community rabbis to be more involved in the local Jewish day schools. Internationally, one of the candidates for the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, Rabbi David Stav, spoke to the convention body about changes he sees as crucial to the future of the Jewish identity of the State of Israel, prime among them the issue of marriage and conversion in Israel.


A few weeks ago, we had a "Fundamentals" class on the drafting of Yeshiva Students into the IDF and those same students' place in Israeli society. Rabbi Dov Lipman of Yesh Atid, delivered the keynote address on Sunday night; a counter to Lipman was journaliast Jonathan Rosenblum, speaking on Monday. These two men presented very impassioned positions on the topic, but with what I thought, was a great deal of common ground and overlap between the perspectives. Rabbi Lipman, who has been vilifed in certain circles, spoke before the convention with Rabbi Daniel Korobkin of Toronto, and much of what he said at the convention, he recorded in this interview, which has been posted on YouTube. I encourage you to watch the interview - and feel free to let me know what you think.
See you this week - Rabbi Meyers