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Let's fill the Big Tent!

November 24, 2016 23:03

Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag is to be congratulated for his enthusiasm and resolve to bring the Big Tent event to the North West of England.

As a congregational rabbi and community leader, he has an impressive track record of organising major events in this region and the personal commitment which he has made to this latest project was well meant and sincere. However an unecessarty yet inevitable tension arose from his steering of the initiative. He came up against the vexed issues of inclusiveness and pluralism, which given his status as an Orthodox rabbi, with sincerely held views which he felt he could not compromise, or even be asked to compromise, was entirely predictable. This alone disqualified him from personifying a major pro-Israel event which intends to embrace all elements of Jewish society.

The ZCC and other organisations, which hold a manifesto to work with all sections of the community, were at one time troubled by the potential for a well intended and much needed initiative to falter. Communal leaders in Manchester are now relieved that what might have been a cause for embarrassment has now been resolved.

Having got over the impasse it is now to be hoped that all sections of the community and the local Jewish press will rally around this initiative and give whatever support they can to ensure the success of the Big Tent on the 27th November 2011. An independent committee has been formed which will ensure that there is a balanced, inclusive and effective programme. Let us us all work together so that at this critical time in Jewish history, Manchester and the North can take pride in their achievement, How Goodly is thy Tent, Jacob.

November 24, 2016 23:03

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