Editorial: Poverty in the Jewish Community

June 29, 2003

Source: Sightings


On June 29, 2003 Sightings printed an editorial by Martin E. Marty stating that "the June 20 edition of Forward, the Jewish weekly, devotes much space to the United Jewish Appeal Federation (UJAF) population survey of New York. Space is short, so I'll skip most statistics. Broadly, what did Forward find?... in the city, Reform and Conservative Judaism is declining as Orthodoxy grows, much of it among the poor... In fact, the number of Jews in poverty has doubled in recent years to 20 percent of the whole. Editorialist Ami Eden notes that the powerful secular Jewish leadership, through spokesperson Stephen Hoffman, CEO of United Jewish Communities, says that how Congress deals with the economy and the poor 'is not a Jewish issue.' Conservative and Reform rabbis argue adamantly with him and grumble. They 'understandably wonder exactly when Hoffman became the arbiter of the collective Jewish conscience.'"