Orthodox Rabbi Speaks at Shabbat in Reform Temple

April 1, 2000

Source: The Denver Rocky Mountain News

On April 1, 2000, the Denver Rocky Mountain News reported that Rabbi Mordecai Twerski became the first Orthodox rabbi to speak at a regular Shabbat service in the Reform congregation of Temple Emanuel in Denver, Colorado. Rabbi Stephen Foster of Temple Emanuel stated: "This is a big thing in the Jewish community...We're thrilled. We're a small community. If the Israelis and the Arabs can make peace, why can't Jews make peace?" Foster continued: "He's been in our synagogue before, but never in our sanctuary during our worship service." Foster had to make changes in the service, like substituting a piano for an organ and not using microphones. Rabbi Twerski has been encouraged by the strong movement toward tradition in Reform Judaism: "We are hoping to take advantage of that by opening doors...We're not minimizing the differences - there are major differences on significant religious issues, but if we can talk about the differences, then we can talk about the issues." Julie Frosh, a member of Temple Emanuel, stated: "I think it's a very good thing for (Twerski) to open himself up to another side of the religion that they don't really acknowledge...I don't think it's a recognition, but it is an opening up."