A year after a study found the Reform movement was doing a good job of reaching out to interfaith families, the movement (North America's largest Jewish stream) is dramatically cutting its more than 20-year-old outreach program.
The cuts come as the movement's Union of American Hebrew Congregations, blaming the recession, is slashing its total operating budget of about $20 million by 10 percent, or $2 million.
As growing numbers of non-Orthodox Jews flock to the mikveh — a trend that has spread over the last decade — an inevitable clash between the traditional and the modern is beginning to emerge, with progressive Jews seeking to recast an ancient ritual in their own image.
The current interest in mikveh was evidenced by the more than 200 people, men and women, from across the Jewish spectrum, who attended the conference “Reclaiming Mikveh: Pouring Ancient Waters into a Contemporary Vessel,” held last month in the Boston suburb of Newton, Mass.
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