Conservative Judaism

Schorsch, In Parting Shot, Rips Students, Movement

Staff Writer
In his farewell address, the outgoing chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary delivered a scathing attack on his students for craving "instant gratification" rather than "dense and demanding discourse," and on his own Conservative movement for too easily permitting "fundamental changes."

Conservatives Helping Their Own

Staff Writer
A request for financial assistance from the Masorti (Conservative) movement in Israel has prompted the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism to develop a major initiative that would encourage Conservative Jews to contribute to the movement's programs worldwide.

'Rabbi Of Rabbis' Dies

Staff Writer
Rabbi Mordecai Waxman of Great Neck, L.I., a giant of Conservative Jewry and the only rabbi to be knighted by the Pope for his work in fostering Catholic-Jewish relations, was eulogized at his funeral Tuesday as the "rabbi of rabbis." Rabbi Waxman, surrounded by his family, died at his home Saturday at the age of 85 following a brief illness. More than 1,000 mourners attended the funeral at Temple Israel in Great Neck, where Rabbi Waxman served as spiritual leader for 55 years. He was slated to retire at the end of this month.

Rabbi Takes Reins At United Synagogue

Staff Writer
Rabbi Charles Savenor has been appointed executive director of the New York Metropolitan Region of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, effective in mid-July. Rabbi Savenor, 39, is associate dean and director of admissions at the Rabbinical School of the Jewish Theological Seminary and a former international president of United Synagogue Youth. He succeeds Bruce Greenfield, who was fired in March following allegations of financial improprieties at METNY.

Conservative Rabbis: State Laws Not Kosher

Staff Writer
A bottle of wine, a slice of cheese and a package of frozen vegetables are now at the center of a new federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of revised New York State kosher laws. These foods and others, according to non-Orthodox standards, are inherently kosher and thus do not need a kosher seal. That was the belief of the two Commack, L.I., butchers who in 2000 successfully challenged the state’s century-old kosher laws. The new law, they believed, required only that they post a sign stating the name of their kosher supervisor.

JTS Facing $2 Million Budget Shortfall

Staff Writer
The Jewish Theological Seminary is facing a new financial crisis and plans to dip into what its new chancellor calls a “rainy day fund” to cover a $2.2 million budget shortfall, The Jewish Week has learned.

A Movement In Transition

Staff Writer
When the Conservative movement was faced with contradictory rabbinic rulings regarding gay ordination two years ago, a young Chicago rabbi tried to find a common theological view. Now the rabbi, Elliot Cosgrove, is again pushing the envelope, calling upon the Conservative movement to re-examine its institutional structure “in a way that is coherent to the very Jews it claims to serve.”

Tisha b’Av Appeal For Ethiopians

Staff Writer
In an unprecedented emergency appeal, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism is calling upon its congregants to donate money to help the 8,700 Ethiopians of Jewish descent, or Falash Mura, who are going hungry there now that all food programs have ended.

NEW: Wernick, New United Synagogue Head: 'Movement At Important Juncture'; Hopes To 'Re-engage Synagogues.'

Staff Writer
Rabbi Steven Wernick, spiritual leader of Temple Adath Israel in Merion Station, Pa., has been chosen to be the next executive vice-president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the movement's congregational arm, the Jewish Week has learned. In his first interview since being tapped, Rabbi Wernick, 41, said Wednesday afternoon that the appointment is not final until he negotiates a contract. The talks, he said, are in the "very beginning stages."

Rebellion Brewing in Conservative Movement

Staff Writer
A mini rebellion is brewing in the Conservative movement.   After being denied input into the selection of a new top professional at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, a group of Conservative rabbis, lay leaders and cantors has requested an urgent meeting with USCJ lay leaders.   "We are writing to you to continue what we believe is an urgent conversation on which hangs nothing less than the future of the Conservative Movement," said the letter to Raymond B. Goldstein, the United Synagogue's international president.
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