Deborah Solomon, who conducts weekly Q&A column in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, recently sat down with Edgar Bronfman, Sr., president of the Samuel Bronfman Foundation and JOI supporter. She asked him about his book “Hope, Not Fear,” which we blogged about when it came out, and wanted to know what he thought of the future of the Jewish community. She referred to it as neo-Judaism. Here’s what he had to say:
I don’t know that I would call it neo-Judaism. The Jewish part will remain, but it’s our attitude that has to change. Instead of shunning people who marry out, we need to welcome them. I think that if we want to grow Judaism, we have to accept interfaith marriage for what it is.
Edgar Bronfman is a person you can always count on to speak his mind, no matter what the consequences. That’s what makes his interview and book so refreshing. He has a distinct vision for the future of the Jewish community, one that is open and welcoming of all who approach. And JOI shares many of his ideas, like taking Judaism out of the synagogue to reach people where they are (what we call Public Space JudaismSM ).
But it’s not only Edgar Bronfman who boldly speaks his mind – his son Adam has definitely followed in his footsteps. Adam has spent his adult life working towards unity among the Jewish people, and that’s one of the reasons we are honoring him at our annual tribute dinner later this month. We have been privileged to work with the Bronfmans on many initiatives, and we look forward to continuing our relationship of creating an inclusive and welcoming Jewish community.