Conservative Judaism

The State Of Conservative Judaism

04/07/2016 - 12:16
Special To The Jewish Week

With the drumbeat of the approaching Passover holiday growing ever louder, I am trying to put aside my obsession with the election campaign and turn my attention inward, to the Jewish world. With that in mind I went up to the Jewish Theological Seminary, the center of Conservative Judaism, to chat with its chancellor, Arnold Eisen. That branch of Judaism has been my home for most of my life, and the seminary, where I studied during my college years, the source of much of my Jewish knowledge. In those days the Conservative movement was the largest of the Jewish religious denominations, far surpassing the Orthodox and Reform. That has changed, with the Reform leading in numbers, the Conservative in second place, and the Orthodox growing at the fastest pace. I wanted to know more about that and about the thinking of Conservative’s current leaders. Chancellor Eisen has headed the movement for nine years and is a passionate spokesman for it.

Francine Klagsbrun

Conservative Rabbis Open To Performing Intermarriages?

Big Tent Judaism email survey slighted by movement leader.

10/27/2015 - 20:00

A survey of 249 Conservative rabbis finds that almost half have defied the movement’s ban on attending interfaith weddings and that 40 percent would officiate at such weddings if the movement permitted them to do so.

Study: Conservative Rabbis Open To Officiating At Intermarriage

10/21/2015 - 20:00

A controversial new survey of Conservative rabbis shows that nearly 4 in 10 (38 percent) would officiate at the marriage of a Jew and non-Jew if the Conservative movement lifted its prohibition on these unions.

study by Big Tent Judaism, “The Views and Practices of Conservative Rabbis on Issues Related to Interfaith Families

The Evolving Role Of The American Rabbi

10/19/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In a way, I have been close to the Conservative rabbinate for 100 years — that is, if one adds my 45 years in one congregation in Metuchen, N.J., to the 42 years my father served as a Conservative rabbi in a congregation in Columbus, Ohio, followed by another 25 years into his 90s in several South Florida shuls.

Gerald L Zelizer

How Our Synagogue Is Attracting Young Adults

12/01/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Professors Steven M. Cohen and Jack Wertheimer shared their assessment of the “Shrinking Jewish Middle And How To Expand It” (Opinion, Nov. 14), and not surprisingly, they focused on what Conservative and Reform synagogues should do to reverse the trend.

Rabbi Rachel Ain

The Remaking Of Conservative Judaism

Rabbi’s coming-out highlights dramatic shift
in the middle movement and its flagship seminary here.

10/14/2014 - 20:00

Gil Steinlauf, a nationally prominent Conservative rabbi, made headlines this month when he announced to his large Washington, D.C., synagogue that he is gay, and that he and his wife of 20 years would divorce. As surprised as his congregants at Adas Israel may have been by the news, it was Rabbi Steinlauf, the congregation’s senior rabbi, who found himself stunned by the response to it.

Rabbi Gil Steinlauf is now at the vanguard of the Conservative movement’s increasing acceptance of homosexuality.

Changing Conservative Judaism

A movement looking to the future finds some rabbinical role models in its own synagogues.

03/03/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

We can complain about the shrinking of the Conservative movement. And we can take pride in Conservative successes of the past. But if what we have been doing until now is not sufficient for the future, what can we change?

Judith Hauptman

What Went Wrong With Conservative Judaism?

02/24/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The findings of the recent study of American Jews by the Pew Research Center have generated a lot of ink, not the least in responses from Jewish religious movements. We have heard the Orthodox expressions of the Church Triumphant. We have witnessed the scurrying for cover on the part of some other groups. In the Conservative world, a number of the movement’s leaders have offered either aggressive programming to counter the movement’s decline, or vigorous cheerleading.

Jerome A. Chanes

What Conservative Judaism Has To Offer

02/10/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It’s hard to be in the middle. Politically, the far right has put mainstream Republicans on the defensive, and the left has sent centrist Democrats scurrying to identify with populism. Religiously, fundamentalism on the right has opposed any form of change, and an aggressive atheism on the left has mounted a war against traditional beliefs. Yet, while the extremes may sometimes foment revolutions, the middle keeps society going. And the middle is the hardest place to be.

Francine Klagsbrun

Schechter Schools Considering Embracing Patrilineal Descent

11/24/2013 - 19:00

Synagogues aren’t the only institutions in the Conservative movement changing their policies to become more welcoming to non-Jews and interfaith families.

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