Governmental funds and pluralism

Governmental funds and pluralism

I appreciate Michele Alperin’s excellent article “Panelists: Israelis look to American Jews for model of pluralism” (Jan. 18). I am retired and formally worked on this issue as co-chair of Association of Reform Zionists of America’s (ARZA) “Operation Equality.” 

Very few articles mention the chief area of discrimination in Israel: the lack of state financial support for pluralism. NJJN presented a rare insight by referring to the $1 billion given to Orthodox institutions and nothing to the liberal streams. Unfortunately, my experience is that Israelis expect financial support from the government for religious endeavors. Putting acceptance of multiple streams of Judaism aside, our experience cannot be a model for Israel since we practice separation of church and state and apply equal protection of laws. The only solution for the lack of pluralism in Israel is a proportional and fair distribution of funds from the government. If that occurs all of the other problems will disappear.

Richard Wildstein
Delray Beach, Fla.

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