I have been intimately connected to the dialogue that has tried to reach a compromise that will be satisfactory to all people involved. I have written in a previous issue of Israel Resource Review, of a proposal to integrate and involve the enthusiasm and energy of non-Orthodox movements in Israel into the framework of informal Jewish education in Israel – especially in community centers and summer camps throughout the country. My positive experience in this regard speaks for itself.

We have to draft the professionalism of the Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and Havurah movements to fight the antisemitism – Israel style – promulgated by some Jews in our country.

The two questions that I have concerning the further involvement of the Conservative movement in the polemics of the Who is a Jew issue include:

1. In Israel, the Conservative movement has joined the HEMDAT coalition, which is litigating for the opening of a shopping center in north Tel Aviv that is owned and operated by a Shomer Shabbat Jew, Mr Lev Leviav.

How can the Conservative movement resolve this with its commitment to Halacha?

2. In Israel, the Conservative movement aligns itself with the Reform, calling for the recognition of all non-Orthodox Rabbis. Yet there are some Rabbis who perform interfaith marriages, same sex marriages, (as happened in Tel Aviv last week), and marriages between people whose fathers – not mothers – are Jewish.

How can the Conservative movement resolve this with its commitment to Halacha?


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.