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UPJ President Roger Mendelson shared his My Good News column in the UPJ's Weekly News & Drash dated 13/14 September 2019. The Jewish Community of Japan morphed out of the old Jewish Community Centre. It was originally a social centre for the fledgling Jewish community from the early ‘50s. Most of the founders were from Harbin and Shanghai in China, and sought a new home after the communists took over there. (Pictured, from left: Shelley Kunin, Sue Mendelson, Marsha and Jerry Rosenberg, Rabbi David Kunin and Roger Mendelson).
My Good News column 26/27 July 2019 by UPJ President Roger Mendelson
If more Jews had read Hitler’s Mein Kampf in the 1930s, they would have had clearer warning about the enemy they faced.
With this principle in mind, I recently read TO HEAL THE WORLD.HOW THE JEWISH LEFT CORRUPTS JUDAISM AND ENDANGERS ISRAEL. The author is Jonathan Neumann, who is a Cambridge educated British journalist.
Response submitted by Rabbi Nathan Alfred, United Hebrew Congregation, Singapore
In recent weeks there has been an interesting debate emerging between the rabbis and the lay leadership of the UPJ, our regional umbrella body: the Union of Progressive Judaism for Australia, New Zealand and Asia. It started with an article by our esteemed UPJ President, Roger Mendelson, in one of his weekly UPJ newsletter articles. Offering a book review of the 2018 polemical work by Jonathan Neumann, “To heal the world? how the Jewish Left corrupts Judaism and endangers Israel”, he repeated the author’s main and controversial point, namely that in recent years, Reform Judaism has been acting somehow in a non-Jewish way by focussing on social justice and especially on Tikkun Olam, a Hebrew phrase that means literally “mending the world”.