The Asbury Park Press reports: After the Rev. John Bambrick spread news that St. Aloysius Church in Jackson would host a talk on Orthodox Judaism with a local rabbi, angry emails and letters began flowing into his inbox.
The rage-filled reactions from some members of the community came as a shock, he said. “That was really an eye opener for me, because in a sense I felt anti-Semitism directly, even though I’m not Jewish,” said Bambrick. “That, of course, told me we were on the right path.”
As the Orthodox Jewish community has grown in northern Ocean County, they and their more secular neighbors have at times contentiously disagreed over their visions of the region’s future.
That tension spurred Bambrick and Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz, who lives in the Westlake Golf and Country Club age-restricted community in Jackson, to open dialog about the religion. At the Catholic church on Sunday, Lefkowitz answered questions about Orthodox Judaism before an audience of about 300 people. The event was part of his and Bambrick’s effort to narrow the divide and lessen hostilities between both communities.
“I realize the community is changing and it will continue to change,” said Lefkowitz, “but we have to work together, understanding our differences and try to work with others.”
Read more at the Asbury Park Press.