A San Francisco rabbi has invited Judge Richard Goldstone to have his grandson’s barmitzvah in California, after Judge Goldstone agreed not to attend the barmitzvah in South Africa.
Rabbi Michael Lerner, of Beit Tikkun Synagogue in Berkeley, the founder of Tikkun Magazine, said that both Judge Goldstone and his grandson would be honoured at the barmitzvah in San Francisco.
Judge Goldstone authored the controversial UN report into Operation Cast Lead, finding both Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes. He agreed not to attend his grandson’s barmitzvah because of possible protests.
The South African Zionist Federation and Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synagogue in Johannesburg reached an agreement with the family that he would not attend.
Rabbi Lerner said: “The pressure put by Judge Goldstone on Israel to clear its name was a welcome breath of fresh air.”
“We are outraged at the treatment he has received. The most recent, the banning of him from his own grandson's barmitzvah in South Africa, led us to invite him to do his grandson's barmitzvah here in the United States where many Jews would honour him.
Judge Goldstone said he was “delighted” with the invitation, but said it was too late to hold the barmitzvah in the US.
Tikkun Magazine has given Judge Goldstone the Tikkun Award 2011. Previous recipients include poet Allen Ginsberg, Abba Eban and Marion Edelman.