Re­form deny ‘mak­ing war’ on Or­tho­doxy

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY SI­MON ROCKER

RABBI TONY Bay­field, the head of the Re­form move­ment, this week stressed that the re­cent state­ment on plu­ral­ism signed with the Lib­er­als and Ma­sorti was not a dec­la­ra­tion of war on Or­tho­doxy.

“We don’t want to go to war with any­body,” he told a quar­terly meet­ing of the Re­form’s lay coun­cil in Lon­don on Sun­day.

But ex­plain­ing last month’s state­ment in which Re­form, Lib­eral and Ma­sorti leaders pledged closer co­op­er­a­tion, Dr Bay­field said: “We do not think that an in­creas­ingly fun­da­men­tal­ist-ori­en­tated United Syn­a­gogue can meet the needs of 80 per cent of the com­mu­nity.”

He added: “We are not wag­ing war against fun­da­men­tal­ism or any­thing like that… We need this col­lab­o­ra­tion if this com­mu­nity is to have the bright fu­ture it should have.”

At a dis­cus­sion at the coun­cil, Re­form mem­bers sug­gested co-op­er­a­tion over stu­dents, cheder ed­u­ca­tion and youth camps.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the three move­ments are due to meet shortly to con­sider how to im­ple­ment the agree­ment in prac­tice.

Stephen Moss, who took over as Re­form chair­man in sum­mer, said: “We are not ex­clud­ing any­body from en­gag­ing in the process.”

He added that leaders of the three move­ments would be talk­ing to their United Syn­a­gogue coun­ter­parts at a meet­ing in De­cem­ber of the com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion com­mit­tee — the in­ter-de­nom­i­na­tional fo­rum set up as part of the Stan­more Ac­cords of 1998.

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