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Friday, July 14, 2006

Exceprt from story on Reform in Europe

...Jonathan Joseph, a progressive Jew from the United Kingdom and president of the European Council of Jewish Communities, says if progressive Jews on the continent want legitimacy, they should take a page from the American playbook and actively engage politicians.

He noted that the progressive movement has no foothold in Brussels, headquarters of the European Union, but at least two Orthodox groups have set up lobbying offices there, including the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

Comparing Chabad’s fund-raising success with the progressive movement’s, Joseph asks pointedly, "Why aren’t secular Jewish businesspeople supporting the Reform movement’s growth?"

In addition, Joseph and others believe that progressive Judaism in Europe will benefit from a more symbiotic relationship with its American denominational counterpart. American Reform congregations gave $6.9 million to projects worldwide last year. In contrast, Chabad last year gave $69 million to Jewish causes in the former Soviet Union alone, where the money is being used for health facilities, education and cultural programs for Jews. ...

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