"Our morality is our religion. . . . God, the acme of highest reason, of surest truth, and of the most sublime justice, does not demand any useless external forms and ceremonies."
And it went downhill from there:
In 1879, Jacob Gordin founded in Yelisavetgrad a sort of ethical culture society called Bibleitsy (also Dukhovnoye Bibleyskoye Bratstvo, Spiritual Bible Brotherhood), which obtained a considerable following among the workmen of the section. It advocated the abolition of ritual observances, even prayer, and the hastening of the era of the brotherhood of man. It preached, in the words of one of its leaders, that "our morality is our religion. God, the acme of highest reason, of surest truth, and of the most sublime justice, does not demand useless external forms and ceremonies." Following the organization of the Bibleitsy, and based on almost the same principles, branches of a Jewish sect, which called itself New Israel (Novy Izrail), were started almost simultaneously in Odessa and Kishinev. In the former city, the organization was headed by Jacob Prelooker, in the latter, by Joseph Rabinowitz. Prelooker, who after graduating from the seminary at Zhitomir became a school-master at Odessa, sought to bring about a consolidation between his own people and Russian Dissenters (Raskolniki: the Molocans, Stundists, and Dukhobortzi). The theme of his book, "New Israel", is a "reformed synagogue, a mitigation of the cleavage between Jew and Christian, and recognition of a common brotherhood in religion." Rabinowitz went still further, and preached on actual conversion to one of the more liberal forms of Christianity. These sects, which sprang up in church and synagogue during the latterpart of the "seventies," were the outcome of political and social as well as religious unrest.
Somehow, to my mind, that resonates with the style and essence of our Jewish less-than-pro-Israel people in JVP, at Tikkun, in J Street, Yachad,and including Peter Berinart and associates.