We the rabbis of the North Jersey Board of Rabbis (NJBR), a coalition of rabbis from Bergen as well as parts of Passaic and Hudson counties, seek to enhance the life of the North Jersey Jewish community. We are not a monolithic group. We have rabbis of different movements and diverse points of view. Within our midst one can find rabbis who would officiate at a same-sex ceremony and others who are opposed to doing so. Some of our members were pleased when you published the announcement, while others were not.

We recognize The Jewish Standard as our community newspaper and as such we do not expect to approve of or agree with everything you publish. That should be true for the Orthodox community as well. You need to serve the entire Jewish community, not just one segment or another. This is why we find the statement that you will not run same-sex announcements in the future after speaking only with Orthodox rabbis to be so disturbing.

When there are issues of sensitivity that require input from the rabbinic community, we urge you to speak with rabbis who reflect the diversity of our overall community, even if this is not the group that initially approaches you.

We call upon you to follow the example of Jewish newspapers like the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent to publish the diverse announcements of this diverse Jewish community. We don’t ask you to endorse them. We recognize the sacred nature of each and every person created and we oppose actions that hurt, embarrass, or demean any segment of this multi-faceted conglomeration we call the Jewish community of northern New Jersey. It is our hope that dialogue between The Jewish Standard and the NJBR can lead to a healthy process and a healing of our fractured community.

B’Shalom,

Rabbi Randall Mark, President NJBR

Rabbi Debra Hachen, Vice President NJBR

Rabbi Benjamin Shull, Treasurer NJBR

Rabbi Steven Sirbu, Secretary NJBR

Rabbi Shammai Engelmayer, Immediate Past President NJBR

Rabbi Ellen Bernhardt

Rabbi Bruce Block

Rabbi Amy Bolton

Rabbi Neal Borovitz

Rabbi Fred Elias

Rabbi Kenneth Emert

Rabbi Paula Feldstein

Rabbi David Fine

Rabbi Elyse Frishman

Rabbi Ian Glazer

Rabbi Jarah Greenfield

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster

Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner

Rabbi Adina Lewittes

Rabbi Sharon Litwin

Rabbi Leana Moritt

Rabbi Jordan Millstein

Rabbi Joel Mosbacher

Rabbi Debra Ornstein

Rabbi Harvey Rosenfeld

Rabbi Ronald Roth

Rabbi Selig Salkowitz

Rabbi David Saltzman

Rabbi Barry Schlesinger

Rabbi Rachel Schwartz

Rabbi Ken Stern

Rabbi Steve Suson

Rabbi Neil Tow

Rabbi Larry Troster

Rabbi Arthur Weiner

Rabbi Jonathan Woll

Rabbi Stephen Wylen

Rabbi Ziona Zelazo

Rabbi Ruth Zlotnick