In wake of Israel’s recognition of Reform and Conservative rabbis, Rabbi Chaim Druckman gives them the back of his hand. Exclusive Jewish Week interview.
Rabbi Chaim Druckman, this year’s winner of the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement, the country’s highest honor, raised some eyebrows this week with his dismissal of the Israeli government’s decision last week to, for the first time, recognize Conservative and Reform rabbis.
The move, by Israel’s attorney general, not only recognizes them as rabbis but also pays 16 of them who work in rural settings.
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.
After some improvement in recent years, gender bias charge resurfaces this year from seminarians.
When she began looking for jobs in February, Gail Schwartz knew she had the skills to be a pulpit rabbi. After all, she had served as an assistant rabbi at several synagogues while studying at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
But after interviewing with 11 Conservative synagogues that were looking for both solo and assistant rabbis, and getting only one callback, Schwartz (not her real name) was stunned.
“It was confusing because I had demonstrated an ability to handle the job,” she said.