Board publishes Zionism for clergy

By Simon Rocker, December 22, 2010

The Board of Deputies has responded to growing anti-Israel feeling among Christians by publishing a defence of Zionism from leading rabbis.

Five thousand copies have been published of a 30-page collection of essays, entitled Zionism: A Jewish Communal Response from the UK.

Its editor, Liberal Judaism chairman Lucian Hudson, , said it was "designed to make clear that Jews across the community are united in the belief that Zionism is central to Judaism. We hope it will be read by many ordinary church members."

David Gifford, chief executive of the Council of Christians and Jews, said: "There is certainly a lot of confusion in the Christian world about what Zionism is. This will help Christian clergy especially to understand the meaning of Zionism in Jewish theology."

He added: "I think what we are increasingly seeing is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is beginning to dominate, if not define Christian-Jewish dialogue, and that is not good.

"But this booklet will show that Zionism is integral to Jewish thinking."

The contributors are the outgoing head of the Reform movement, Rabbi Tony Bayfield; Liberal chief executive Rabbi Danny Rich and Masorti Senior Rabbi, Jonathan Wittenberg. All three are CCJ presidents.

A modern Orthodox view comes from Dan Rickman, a member of Hampstead Garden Suburb United Synagogue.

Last updated: 1:44pm, December 22 2010