To live as a Conservative Jew in America in the 21st century is a blessing, not a curse.
Rabbi Gerald Skolnik
Story Includes Video:
In the forthcoming Winter issue of the Jewish Review of Books, a colleague and friend of many years, Rabbi Daniel Gordis, has written an article titled “Requiem for a Movement,” referring to the Conservative movement in the aftermath of the recently released Pew Report. As one might imagine, the article has generated a great deal of “discussion” among my colleagues in the Conservative rabbinate. I can only imagine that the lay leadership of our movement is similarly engaged.
Dara Horn delves into the nature of remembrance, and how it ‘affects our choices for the future,’ in ‘A Guide for the Perplexed.’
Jewish Week Book Critic
Story Includes Video:
Dara Horn’s latest novel is propelled forward by ideas about preserving the past, over three different eras. “A Guide for the Perplexed” (Norton) is set in present-day California and Egypt, late-19th-century Cambridge and Cairo, and further back, in 12th-century Cairo. With great skill and originality, she layers stories of a software developer who invents a program called “Genizah” for recording a life, Solomon Schechter’s discovery of the Cairo Genizah, and the life of Moses Maimonides, or the Rambam.
BALTIMORE — At their biennial convention, Conservative Jewish leaders called for renewing the “vital religious center” of American Judaism in the wake of numerous studies showing their movement is shrinking.
Major new book by Conservative rabbis offers thoughtful essays on wide range of knotty issues.
At a time when denominational walls seem to be growing ever higher, the new religious guidebook from the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly is meant for all “contemporary Jews,” not necessarily just Conservative ones.
E-books became the dominant format for adult fiction in 2011 surpassing hardcover books and paperbacks according to the BookStats annual survey. We are increasingly choosing to read our novels, magazine, newspapers and even children’s books on e-readers and tablets. But is it permissible to do this on the one day of the week that Judaism commands us to unplug?
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism estimates that from 1985 to 2009, 175 affiliated congregations have dispersed or merged with other denominations. The movement’s branch of day schools, the Solomon Schechter schools, has had the sharpest enrollment decline out of any denominational schools with a 3.8 percent decrease from 2010 to 2011, and since 1998, 20 Conservative day schools have shut down nationwide.
The Conservative movement recently conducted a survey of hundreds of its rabbis and the results are in: on the whole, they're as committed to Israel as they've ever been, although younger rabbis have more liberal views about the state than they've used to. The purpose behind this survey is clear: to assure anxious Jewish leaders that, contra the skeptics, Israel remains as vital a part of Jewish life as ever.