As a newspaper serving the Jewish community, the Jewish Standard understandably needs to take into account perspectives that span the community. The purpose of this approach should be to foster shalom bayit within our diverse community.
Since the departure of its previous editor, the Standard’s interim editor has been Rabbi Shammai Engelmayer. For some time, Rabbi Engelmayer has used the Jewish Standard’s op ed space to strongly criticize the Orthodox halachic segment of the community, with whom he has a well-known and well-documented animus. It is counterproductive for shalom bayit in our community to allow these stinging written verbal attacks to continue unabated on the Jewish Standard’s pages.
As interim editor, Rabbi Engelmayer could display more wisdom in expressing his views so as not to inflame feelings within the Orthodox community. If not, your other option could be to hire a permanent editor who more faithfully adheres to the Jewish dictum of “Desire peace and pursue it” and who will take into account the damage done by an incessant drumbeat of negative op eds.
Please give this matter your careful consideration. The Orthodox community is becoming increasingly disturbed with Rabbi Engelmayer’s opinion pieces, and if nothing is done, this feeling may redound to the detriment of your newspaper.
[Editor’s note: Shammai Engelmayer responds in this week’s column]