So far, the Jewish community has stepped up to help the McJunkins as they embark on their new path. People they had never met hosted their wedding, and others are contributing to a crowdsourcedwedding shower fund to assist them in purchasing new dishes, housewares, appliances, Judaica, and kosher groceries.“There is a simple mitzvah of showing love to a convert,” said Alexander Rapaport, executive director of the Masbia food kitchen network, who organized the online fund. In the last three days, 221 people have donated $9,335 toward a $20,000 goal.
Rabbi Noam Marans, the American Jewish Committee’s director of interreligious relations, said the combined damage of the study guide and the passage of divestment overtures would likely have consequences for Jewish-Presbyterian ties, although he did not want to outline them until the assembly had finished.
Rachel Lerner, J Street’s senior vice president for community relations, who has made the pro-Israel case to church groups in the past, said she had decided not to attend this year’s assembly because of the time commitment. She changed her mind, however, when she read “Zionism Unsettled.”“It portrays Zionists as pathological and racist and scarred and unable to act in any normal way,” she said. “It ran contrary to everything I think Zionism stands for. I was personally offended by it. I think it says something about the movement, where divestment is coming from and who it is coming from in the church.”