All well and good. But I’d be more convinced about the viability of “outreach” by the Reform among the Gentiles if they were only capable of hanging on to their own.
In a genetics class in college the professor was pointing out differences in IQ between ethnic groups (yes, this was post-Bell Curve. This particular professor was more interested in facts than in political correctness.), and came to the higher IQ’s of Asians and Jews (right now I can’t remember which was higher). The Mennonite fellow sitting next to me looked at me and said, “Well, we’re spiritual Jews, aren’t we?”. I said I guessed we were, and so our IQ’s must be pretty high, too. He was already married, and I ended up going Asian, just in case my Jewish IQ needed a little boost (I’ll have to look that one up some day).
As a goy born in 1942 I encountered many Jewish classmates at Columbia deeply affected by the Holocaust. For our generation the Holocaust was in the foreground. It still clearly effected lives in an everyday way. As I realized more fully what had happened my reaction as an American was simple: I like these guys and anyone who wants to do that again is my enemy. Yet I notice that no Jewish person has ever tried to explain their faith to me, much less tried to convert me. I would not be adverse at all to having Judaism explained from a Jewish point of view and even to hear why I might want to convert.
There are a lot of ultra-orthodox immigrants from France in Jerusalem right now, and he women are in fact quite elegant.
Surely it’s possible to feel a Jewish identity as a connection to a history, culture (and religion) and maybe even a country (Israel) without having to support the policies of every Israeli government, without having to follow all Orthodox tenants and without focusing solely on the the Holocaust.
There are some people around the world who claim to be descendants of Spanish Maranos, and others who claim to belong to the ten lost tribes, Maybe American Jews should reach out to them. Conversely, maybe they should reach out to small European Jewish communities who feel nervous about increased antisemitism.
5. “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly, and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.”