I. WITH WHOM WE ARE IN RELATIONSHIP
The clergy and members of Congregation Beth El of Manhattan are in clear and open fellowship with all God-followers who believe the following things, and walk reasonably intentionally and consistently in them:
1. God exists in the manner the Two Testaments of Jewish Scripture describe Him to exist, and cares about what happens to people, and about what people do – particularly to each other.
2. The historical person Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth was “the Messiah, the Son of the Living God” – and in a way never soundly reduced to a simple one-phrase maxim, was also a visitation of God to and among humanity. His death as “the Suffering Messiah” – foreknown by Scripture and recognized by the Sages of Israel in Talmudic commentary – is the atonement for the sins of imperfect but repentant people, providing them with the means to be received by the morally perfect Creator despite their moral imperfections, both in this present life, and in the eternity into which our forever-existing human spirits go after our physical lives are over.
3. The Two Testaments of Jewish Scripture are unique “revelation” – objectively proven impartations of accurate information or precepts from humankind’s Creator. As such, the Scriptures are without exception the final defining source for sound belief or practice on any issue they address, whether directly, or by soundly extrapolated and applied precept.
Beth El of Manhattan is in significant long-term relationship with clergy and congregations all over the United States, Israel, Europe and South Africa. They form a network of resource and accountability for us beyond our own highly evolved congregational accountability structure.
II. WHY WE HAVE BEEN INDEPENDENT SINCE JULY 2001
Beth El of Manhattan is at present unaffiliated, due to its leadership’s unequivocal knowledge of lack of the ethical health in the highest leadership echelons of the two main north American associations, the MJAA and UMJC – and the unwillingness of the overarching association, the IMJA (International Messianic Jewish Alliance) to hold the North American associations accountable for infractions as serious as false placement of signatures on official documents to steer alliance business on false premises, publication of false corporate communications to influence elections and business, promotion of disqualified persons into high office and responsibility in direct defiance to the standards of Scripture, perjury in official process, abuse of office – and more. Scripture is clear not to interact in “business-as-usual” mode with professing “believers” (1Corinthians 5:11) who are consistently and unrepentantly practicing such things (Luke 17:3), and retaining their profits/benefits from those activities (Luke 19:8).
It is worth noting, this synagogue’s rabbi and rebbetzin were national and international leaders in those associations for more than two decades, and the choice to be unaffiliated does not reflect a native desire to be unconnected. It simply seems to Beth El’s leaders the only sound ethical choice at present.
It is Beth El’s sincere hope the ethics situation in the MJAA, UMJC, and IMJA improves meaningfully, and our synagogue would welcome positive ethical changes in the alliances or unions as a path to renewed association-membership.
It should also be noted, the presence of concerns about the leadership level ethics does not globally negatively affect the rank and file members of any associations: our synagogue members are encouraged to attend conferences freely and openly, and have fellowship with any and all association members who live reasonably live within standard Scriptural and normative ethics and conduct.