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Judaism

March 30, 1997

* Recently at my bank, a non-Jewish teller said that all his Jewish friends were very upset about the Union of Orthodox Jews' statement (March 22). The teller's friend now thinks "that Orthodox Jews do not regard him as Jewish." His question was directed at me because he knows that I am an Orthodox Jew.

I explained to him that "there is a terrible misunderstanding about what the Union of Orthodox Jews means." It does not mean that the Jews who call themselves Reform or Conservative are not Jews! Jewish law is very clear on its definition of who is a Jew. Reform and Conservative Jews who are born of a Jewish mother are Jewish. What they practice in Reform and Conservative temples is not Judaism. That is what the Orthodox Union is stating.

Being Jewish is not defined by the religion that Reform or Conservative temples practice. This is a terrible misunderstanding.

NACHUM TRAUB

Los Angeles

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