Conservative Judaism

Conservative Movement: Yes Gay Marriage, No Shabbat Tech

In one week, decisions both liberal and traditional on 21st-century issues.
06/04/2012 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Conservative rabbis reminded their constituents this week that, at least when it comes to texting on Shabbat, they can still be counted on to be conservative, with a small c.

It was a week that Conservative rabbis were welcomed by the Obama White House, which apparently still sees their votes in play (as opposed to the Reform and Orthodox who are firmly pro-Democratic or pro-Republican). And it was a week in which the rabbis issued guidelines on performing same-sex marriages (two rings and a modified marriage contract).

Ari L. Goldman

More Non-Orthodox Rabbis Seek State Recognition

With Israel funding 16 liberal rabbis in ‘outlying’ areas, urban ones now petition for their share.
06/04/2012 - 20:00
Israel Correspondnet

Jerusalem — If anyone were rooting for Miri Gold, one of the 16 non-Orthodox rabbis the Israeli government recognized last week as a community rabbi of an outlying area, it was Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman.

Like Rabbi Gold, who was the plaintiff in the Israel Religious Action Center’s (IRAC’s) High Court petition demanding salaries for rabbis in outlying communities, Rabbi Kelman is petitioning the court for recognition of non-Orthodox neighborhood rabbis in towns and cities.

Reform Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman is the plaintiff in a new High Court petition. Michele Chabin

Assuming a New Responsibility

05/02/2012 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

For the past six years, I have served as an officer of the Rabbinical Assembly, the 1600-member-strong international organization of Conservative rabbis.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik is spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center, and incoming President of the Rabbinical Assembly.

Hackensack Shul Vandalized

12/21/2011 - 19:00

 

A Conservative synagogue in Hackensack, N.J. was defaced by anti-Semitic vandals.

Swastikas and white supremacist symbols were painted on Temple Beth El late Tuesday night, the first night of Chanukah. An accusation that Jews caused the 9-11 attacks was also painted on the building, according to reports. The graffiti was discovered by a synagogue secretary on Wednesday morning.

Police reportedly believe that the vandals were the same as those that painted swastikas on a Reconstructionist temple in neighboring Maywood, N.J. last week.

Conservative Movement Ordains First Openly Gay Rabbi

05/28/2011 - 20:00

 (JTA) – The Conservative movement ordained its first openly gay rabbi during ceremonies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

Rachel Isaacs, 28, was ordained at JTS on May 19. She told the Forward that she began her rabbinical training at the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, but switched to the Conservative seminary after it began admitting openly gay and lesbian students in 2007.

Standing Again at Sinai

Too many Conservative Jewish synagogues and institutions – the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism included – have forgotten the passion, the joy, and even the accessibility of Shavuot.
05/26/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

One of Judaism’s most profound ideas is the notion that each year at Shavuot each of us stands at Mount Sinai, poised to receive the Torah as if for the first time. The holiday, in other words, is an annual renewal of the relationship we Jews as a people experience with God through Torah.

With the RA in Las Vegas: Beyond the Punchlines

03/31/2011 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

On Sunday through Thursday of this week, hundreds of my colleagues in the Rabbinical Assembly and I gathered at our international convention, held this year in Las Vegas.  The Rabbinical Assembly is the professional organization of Conservative rabbis around the world.  In addition to my work as the rabbi of The Forest Hills Jewish Center, I currently serve as the RA's Vice-President, and am slated to assume the Presidency in another year.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Talking To Conservative Rabbis: What’s In A ‘Movement’?

03/28/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Since the beginning of January, I have been on a tour of North America and have seen over 400 Conservative rabbis face-to-face or conducted extensive phone interviews with them.

What am I looking for?

I have been reaching out to my colleagues with the question: “As a rabbi, what are you trying to accomplish in your community? How does your Torah inspire your community to bring change in their lives and the world?” In the aggregate, their stories are a lens on the Conservative movement today.

Talking To Conservative Rabbis: What’s In A ‘Movement’?

03/21/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Since the beginning of January, I have been on a tour of North America and have seen over 400 Conservative rabbis face-to-face or conducted extensive phone interviews with them.

What am I looking for?

I have been reaching out to my colleagues with the question: “As a rabbi, what are you are trying to accomplish in your community? How does your Torah inspire your community to bring change in their lives and the world?” In the aggregate, their stories are a lens on the Conservative movement today.

The Evolving Religious World and Conservative Judaism's Challenge

02/10/2011 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

There is a great deal of talk swirling around about my movement- the Conservative movement- and its state of being. The lead article in this week’s print edition of The Jewish Week reports on a new strategic plan for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and the changes that it is intending to make in both its organizational structure and sphere of operations. The article implies- not too subtly- that the proposed changes reflect an organization, and a movement, in crisis.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik
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