Monday, November 07, 2005


I returned this morning from Israel, where I attended the Board of Governors meeting of the Jewish Agency. Over the next few days I will present in this space at least two reports on the meetings-the first a highly favorable one on the Unity Committee which oversees the Conversion issues as they inter-relate between the Army, the Conversion Institute, the Conversion Courts and the Jewish Agency-government role. Secondly I will talk about the diminishing fiscal support the Agency is receiving and its future, from my perspective.
Many individuals in Israel approached me to offer support on the Torah Umadda issue. One a leading member of the Federation world , a well known liberal,whose family are major YU supporters, and who was about two years behind me at Yeshiva College has always disagreed with me on political issues.On this however he stated “ I totally support you-It is as if Israel would ban Hatikvah as its anthem.”
But a positive thing has occurred in the last week or two,Y.U. mail and many ads for various divisions of YU now have the Torah Umadda emblem attached.On one mail solicitation my wife received the TORAH U MADDA emblem was even on the return envelope immediately adjacent to the return address.
However in the Nov 4th Jewish Week,despite three ads with both the flames and the emblem ,on page eight there is no Torah Umadda in the ad for the Boys H.S.:It does have two sets of flames!
It appears that there is no coherent policy in this regard, which I discuss in my future op-ed in the next Commentator.
Immediately before Yom Kippur ,I received a call from President Richard Joel asking to meet with me.We scheduled the meeting for Tues. Nov. 8. I felt I should not comment on it publicly until after the meeting. However today the meeting was postponed with no date set for a get-together.
If the Torah Umadda emblem stays and a coherent policy enunciated, then I have accomplished much..
In truth I do not know whether the emblem will be permanently and universally kept in its position of honor, nor even its current status in the Law and Medical schools, etc. In the meantime my op-ed which was written prior to Yom Tov is slated for the Commentator, which I assume will come out any day .
It appears that this is an evolving response on the part of the administration.