Statement by Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President on Southern Baptist Convention Resolution* to Missionize Jews June 14, l996
We are offended that the Southern Baptist Convention is dedicating its resources to an ambitious campaign to proselytize Jews. This divisive campaign is offensive in that it singles out the Jewish people at a time when the need is great for interfaith understanding and dialogue among all religions.
The freedom to practice religion is a fundamental tenet of American democracy, and we respect the Southern Baptists right to hold beliefs that differ from our own. But we do not welcome their attempt to impose those beliefs on the Jewish people, who have survived for 3,000 years with a strong faith in a God that cares for all people, of all faiths.
Respect for each other's religious beliefs and the celebration of America's pluralism are fundamental American values. The Union of American Hebrew Congregations has always made dialogue with our Christian brethren a foremost priority. We continue to do so. We will work closely with those who share our commitment to interfaith cooperation and dialogue. And we are saddened that the Southern Baptists appear to have removed themselves from the dialogue by this campaign.