Kingdom of Priests

A remarkable opinion piece by Joel Alperson and carried by JTA includes this observation:

I’ve collected the mission statements of the largest 17 Jewish federations in North America, and not one mentions “God,” “Torah” or “Judaism.” Nor do the mission statements of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, Hillel, the National Council of Jewish Women, The Wexner Heritage Foundation, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, Hadassah and the Jewish National Fund. Of all the organizations I looked into, only United Jewish Communities mentions but one of the three words, Torah, in its mission statement.

Some surely will be quick to say that the above organizations were not created to convey religious concepts. That is precisely my point: How can we say these organizations are Jewish and at the same time don’t need to mention God, Torah or Judaism?

This fits with everything I know about Jewish communal leadership but the results of Alperson’s having sifted through all those mission statements — and found just one lonely reference to God, Torah, or Judaism! — still represents a startling piece of information, reflecting a massive desertion from the very purpose of Jewish existence.
Thanks to Rabbi Yaakov Menken for noting this on a Baltimore Sun blog.
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