A group of rabbis is coalescing into a movement to belay the misconception that all rabbis and Jews are supporters of President Barak Obama and the principles of the current Democratic Party.
“Our main purpose is to counter the impression of Rabbis for Obama,” said Rabbi David Algaze, co-chairman of Rabbis for Romney and Rav of Havurat Yisrael, in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. His goal is to dispel the notion that Jews and “especially rabbis” feel that President Obama is “the best president for the Jews and Israel. In fact, he is one of the most hostile we’ve had and I am very concerned if he is re-elected. Romney will do even better for Israel. We saw his presentation of G-d and values rather than the atheistic and other values of Obama. We believe in freedom but not in anti-religious propaganda. People should be free to believe for themselves.” He cited a climate where “if one espouses religious values then you are attacked.”
The founder of the movement is a New Jersey rabbi, Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg, who has blogged about the need to counteract the Rabbis for Obama. Rabbi Algaze is drafting a mission statement for the group and said that other rabbis are stepping forward, including Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, of Kew Gardens Hills.
The prototype of Rabbi Algaze’s document states that the group seeks to “communicate the concerns and interests of the Jewish community during the electoral process,” gleaning information on candidates’ positions on Israel’s security and issues of import to Jewish voters, including “Biblical values.” He stressed that, “We clearly deny the impression created by the Rabbis for Obama that American Jews want “daylight” between America and Israel, as Obama declared, or that the social views espoused by these Rabbis are rooted in our authentic tradition.”