US attends first liaison meeting

By Simon Rocker, December 23, 2008

The United Synagogue has for the first time sent a rabbinic representative to the liaison body set up to reduce tensions between the Orthodox and non-Orthodox.

Rabbi Michael Harris, joint vice- chairman of the US Rabbinical Council, attended last Thursday’s meeting at US head office of the community consultative committee, established under the 1998 Stanmore Accords.

It was the first such meeting for more than a year. The four signatories to the accords — the US, Reform, Liberal and Masorti movements — are also supposed to send “lay, professional and rabbinic leaders” to meetings.

Thursday’s meeting was also the first since Reform, Liberal and Masorti publicly issued a call for greater collaboration in September.

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, senior rabbi of the Masorti Synagogues, described the meeting as “very positive-spirited” and “relaxed”.

The aim, he said, was “to look at what we can do to maximise co-operation and minimise pain”.

Last updated: 12:39pm, December 23 2008