You should change the title of your December 19 editorial, “What were they thinking?” to “What am I thinking and why?”
You condemn the Center’s board for choosing to sell their building to a Jewish organization rather than to a non-Jewish one for more money. You would rather them get more money and have the Roman Catholic (your words) institution take over but allow the congregation to employ a rabbi “… jointly selected by the congregation and us (Holy Name).” How can you claim that Holy Name will “…protect and nurture the failing (if not failed) Jewish Center’s autonomy and its very Jewishness…” if they insist on jointly choosing the rabbi? That would not be my definition of autonomy, nor that of almost anyone with a knowledge of English.
I was very happy, in fact overjoyed, that members of the congregation decided to sell to the Jewish group. Instead of feeling that their actions are “scandalous,” I must say, “col haKavod.” More Jewish groups should attempt to preserve the Jewishness of their institutions, even if it means a change in affiliation and the reception of less money. You declare the desire not to sell the Jewish Center of Teaneck to a non-Jewish group as scandalous. Your views are those that are scandalous. I could not fail to notice the noting by you that Yeshiva Heichal HaTorah, who will be purchasing from the congregation, has some of its roots in “the ultra-Orthodox world.” Do you also find this scandalous?
As the member of a congregation that had to sell to a church because we could not find a Jewish buyer, I find myself fully supportive of their actions and wish that we had their options.
Instead of condemning the actions of the Board of the Teaneck Jewish Center, you should be praising them.