Photo courtesy of Reuters/Carlos Barria
President Trump prepares to sign the Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty during the National Day of Prayer event at the Rose Garden of the White House on May 4, 2017.
Despite a boycott by leaders of major Jewish rabbinical associations, President Trump issued invitations to individual rabbis and Jewish laypeople for a High Holy Days conference call on Friday (Sept. 15).
The conference call tradition was begun by President Obama as a way of marking Judaism’s most sacred season which begins this year on Wednesdayevening with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, followed 10 days later by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
But after the violence at last month’s protest in Charlottesville, Va., where Trump appeared to sanction white supremacists by saying there were “very fine people” on both sides of the rally, leaders of the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements said they would boycott the call.
“We have concluded that President Trump’s statements during and after the tragic events in Charlottesville are so lacking in moral leadership and empathy for the victims of racial and religious hatred that we cannot organize such a call this year,” they said in a statement.
Graham Roth, a spokesman for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said the group’s position has not changed.
“This was not a decision made lightly, but the president’s lack of moral leadership in the wake of Charlottesville made it necessary,” Roth said.
In the past, it has been the rabbinical groups that sent invitations to its members to join the call. The Trump White House has instead sent invitations…