The most recent Pew Study on American Jewish life reveals a treasure house of information about modern Jewish trends. The rising numbers of intermarriage amongst the non-Orthodox are a foreboding sign for the future vitality of American Jewish life. It seems that when it comes to measuring the Orthodox Jewish community the study falls short. Its methodology of denominational self-identification, effective decades ago when Jews fit in to neat categories of Orthodox Conservative and Reform, fails to reveal the real trends in a complex post denominational era.
I haven’t forgotten my pledge to respond to Dr. Jack Wertheimer’s op-ed. And, of course, I still remember my earlier promise to post more articles and resources about “December Dilemma” — which from now on I’m thinking of referring to as DD or D&D. Or maybe I could call it the Kislev Konundrum, although all those K’s start sounding a bit Teutonic.
Beloved singer, writer, musical game-changer dies at 59.
To a broken generation, Debbie Friedman delivered a mystical truth: You don’t have to be cured to be healed.
She, who suffered for so long from elusive, debilitating neurological illnesses that finally took her life Sunday after 59 years, understood, with humor and faith, that she was singing and writing with one foot in Heaven and the other on a banana peel. It was as if from Heaven, however, that her most ethereal music seemed to come, transforming not only lives but whole denominations.
Professor Jack Wertheimer’s recent report on Jewish leaders in their 20s and 30s (see “Exploring the Generation Gap Among Jewish Leaders”) is a critical step forward to understanding the fundamental shifts in perspective of a new generation. Yet, as one of those interviewed for the study, I believe two of his conclusions are misplaced, and unnecessarily pit the “older establishment” against the “younger non-establishment.” The reality is much more complex.
When young Jewish leaders form their own start-up groups and/or prayer services, are they rejecting the organized community, or seeking to strengthen it?
That was one of the recurring questions that emerged earlier this month at The Conversation, the two-day annual retreat sponsored by The Jewish Week for a cross-section of 50 Jewish leaders and emerging leaders from around the country.
You probably won’t be surprised by one of the key findings of a new study, since it confirms what many of us have been observing for awhile: Jewish leaders in their 20s and 30s are much less concerned about intermarriage than are older Jewish leaders.