By Jenni Frazer
July 25, 2011
The United Synagogue has a website called You and US, from which this week the aroma of sour grapes can be detected.
It reprints on the site a letter from the registrar of the London Beth Din, David Frei, in response to a news story in the previous week's JC. This contribution is headed "Silence is Golden from the JC." It has already elicited one comment from someone signing himself "Creative Genus" [sic], applauding the US's move, which was made because the JC turned the letter down for publication.
Now it is perfectly true that the US is entitled to use its own website for its own purposes. What is unfair is that the US did not tell its readers the reason the JC refused to publish Mr Frei's letter.
Our reporter had repeatedly, over a period of a week, attempted to get David Frei to talk to us in order to reflect the position of the Beth Din in a complicated story about a get.
Mr Frei was given every opportunity to speak to us, but chose not to do so. Instead, he sent a letter for publication after the story had appeared. This is called having it both ways, and the JC was not prepared to allow him this privilege.
So US members who look at its website are only getting half a story. They might want to suggest to David Frei and, indeed, members of the Beth Din, that a more direct response to a legitimate media enquiry would be far more productive than this kind of behaviour.