Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Future of Young Israel II

Shlomo Mostofsky, President of the National Council of Young Israel, responded to the Commentator article (link) on the Commentator's website (link):

National Council of Young Israel
111 John Street, Suite 450, New York, NY 10038
Phone: 212-929-1525 Fax: 212-727-9526

December 10, 2007

To the Editor:

I graduated from Yeshiva College in 1975 and attended what was then called the Yeshiva Program. I was involved with campus life and served as both Vice President and Treasurer of SOY. My experiences at Yeshiva helped to mold me into the person I am today.

Click here to read moreWhen I read the article about the National Council of Young Israel, I was dismayed that the editors of the Commentator would publish an article that betrayed the very values of Torah U'Mada that Yeshiva seeks to instill in its students. The article betrayed "Torah" values because it consisted almost entirely of loshon hora about the National Council of Young Israel. The article betrayed "Mada" because it was devoid of any journalistic even-handedness or journalistic integrity.

I am the president of the National Council of Young Israel. While the Commentator article mentioned a memo I wrote to Young Israel branch synagogues, the author never contacted me for my comments. My law practice is listed and the NCYI Web site has a direct link to my email address.

One must also question the absence of any comment by Yeshiva University President Richard Joel, a member of Young Israel of North Riverdale, NY. Nor, for that matter, did the article contain any comments by Rabbis Zevulun Charlap, Mordechai Willig (a member of the NCYI Vaad Halacha,) Kenneth Auman, Reuvain Fink, Shmuel Hain, Shlomo Hochberg, Ari Jacobson, Yaakov Lerner, Aaron Levine, Marc Penner, or Eliyahu Boruch Shulman who serve as Young Israel rabbis and are employed by Yeshiva University.

For the record, the impetus for the new Rabbinic Standards came solely from Young Israel rabbis, who are RIETS musmachim and/or rabbaim. They insisted that the Vaad Halacha promulgate standards to protect the integrity of the Young Israel rabbinate.

The Young Israel name is respected worldwide; we must guarantee that such respect continues. We are proud of our rabbis and of the lay leadership that have kept Young Israel on a steady upward course throughout the 96 years of our existence. We stand firm by what we feel is correct for the Young Israel movement. Synagogues and communities that have joined the Young Israel movement over the past 96 years are proud to be identified with the standards of halacha and hadracha that our founding Torah-true lay leaders and rabbis were moser nefesh to establish. It is the mandate of the elected officers and professionals of the National Council of Young Israel to uphold the legacy, community and family that defines us as Young Israel.

Sincerely yours,

Shlomo Z. Mostofsky, President

cc: Richard Joel, President, Yeshiva University
I also have possession of a letter sent to Young Israel synagogues but I do not know if I have permission to post it online.

Friends, please keep the comments polite to make R. Ari Enkin's job of moderating them easier. It might be worthwhile to review this post about lashon ha-ra regarding public figures (link).

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