I take offense at your designating mainstream Orthodox as different from Modern Orthodox (“What Is Jewish Unity?” Sept. 6). Mainstream is Modern Orthodox as historically practiced by the overwhelming percentage of the Baltimore Jewish community and its synagogues, including at Beth Tfiloh Congregation, which now includes the former Beth Jacob, where my father was the educational director, at Ner Tamid and Suburban Orthodox Congregation Toras Chaim (which was founded by an uncle of mine and others).

What is not mainstream Orthodox is the Judaism practiced by the “ultra” or “fervently” or similar modifiers to Orthodox, as practiced by those who attend the Glen Avenue shul and, more recently, by those who daven at Darchei Tzedek and other “black hat” synagogues, which have proliferated by the dozens in Baltimore. …

Your banishing of me and the rest of Modern Orthodoxy to other than “mainstream” is not only painful, it is also incorrect.
Judy Chernak

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  1. I completely understand why Ms. Chernak was bothered by Modern Orthodoxy being identified as something other than mainstream Orthodoxy. What I do take issue with is her turning around and using the same label or lack of label in a somewhat disparaging tone to define what she calls “ultra” or “fervently” Orthodox and using the phrase “black hat synnagogues” to define where these Jews choose to daven.

    If she did not like being defined out of the mainstream why would she then use that terminology to describe another group of fellow Jews?

    I say let’s put away our label makers and unite despite what articles and surveys tell is the state of the Jewish community today, lets define ourselves as THE JEWISH PEOPLE”

    Sincerely, Donna Wach


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