NEW YORK (RNS) — “There’s a perception out there — and for good reason — that the Orthodox community is monolithic,” said Sasha Kesler, who identifies herself as a Modern Orthodox Jew. “And becoming increasingly conservative. But it’s not.”

“I know what I know about my community,” continued Kesler, who lives in Riverdale, New York, and attends the Hebrew Institute, one of the major synagogues in the Bronx neighborhood. “My friends, the rabbis, the leaders: We are progressives. We look to the Torah and the texts we have to teach us the lessons of our obligation to care for others.”

Riverdale is in New York’s 16th Congressional District and is the neighborhood where Rep. Eliot Engel once called himself “the mayor.”

Engel’s defeat in June’s

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