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It is altogether fitting that Jews join fellow Americans in observing a day of Thanksgiving to the Almighty for all the blessings He has bestowed upon this country. Jews, in particular, have much reason to thank God for the opportunities and
freedoms granted to us in the United States.

Jacob came to recognize what all humans need to recognize: our lives have significance, we have goals to strive for; we are not lost and forgotten. We should not underestimate ourselves.

I am often asked what was it that attracted me, a Dutch Calvinist Protestant, to Judaism. There were many motivations for my eventual conversion to Judaism, and Modern Orthodoxy in particular.


Thank you for your support and encouragement. You have helped the Institute in its work to foster an intellectually vibrant, compassionate and inclusive Orthodox Judaism.

We must, however, ask ourselves how our halakhic system treats people who do not believe, and are not expected to believe, that this system applies to them. To this, our answer is that such people are not to be held liable or excluded as a result of their non-compliance with this system. Omer mutar accurately describes today’s reality. It is perfectly descriptive and non-judgmental, and should be a major part of our inclusive discourse.

Within the Orthodox world, reverence toward heroes and the Sages must be balanced with fidelity to the biblical text, commitment to prophetic integrity, and commitment to truth in scholarship. The Torah teaches both particularistic and universalistic values, and it is critical to adopt both in a faithful religious worldview.