One floated a trial balloon earlier this year: that the Conservative movement consider accepting converts, then teaching them, turning the usual chronology on its head. A second said he’d like to bring “literature, music and the visual arts,” along with worship and study, into the life of his synagogue. And a third, by the very nature of her background — Korean and Jewish — is breaking boundaries.
Peter Rubinstein, who this week announced his decision to step down in 15 months as senior rabbi of Central Synagogue, one of the leading Reform congregations in the U.S., almost talked himself out of the job before he was hired in 1991.
Now 12 percent of the community, racially diverse Jewish households making their way into mainstream — but still less ‘engaged’ than others.
When Rabbi/Cantor Angela Buchdahl was growing up — the daughter of a white Jewish father and a Korean-American mother — she and her sister “always felt like the ‘only ones’” that were non-white in Jewish settings.
Today, her three children attend the Abraham Joshua Heschel School, and each is in a class with at least one other mixed-race Asian. “And there are other races as well,” she noted.