Paul Drazen

Liberal-Branch Shuls Aiming For A More Perfect Union

Reform-Conservative merger in Miami provides glimpse of the future of non-Orthodox Judaism.
Staff Writer

Miami — The banner in front of the synagogue here says it all: “One Synagogue — Two Traditions, Embracing Reform and Conservative Judaism.”

It has been nearly a year since this Reform congregation of about 325 families, Temple Bet Breira, merged with a neighboring Conservative synagogue of 250 families, Congregation Samu-El Or Olom. The union is still being tweaked, and while officials at both congregations are proclaiming it a success thus far, questions linger about the long-term viability of such an arrangement.

The merged synagogues are now in Bet Breira’s building. Inset: Rabbis David Schonblum and Jaime Klein Aklepi.

Mom's Bat Mitzvah

Editorial Intern

Bonnie Panzok is just trying to catch up with her children.

When Panzok sent her kids to Jewish day school to get the education she never got, she watched as their knowledge grew exponentially and surpassed her own. But now, Panzok, after a crash course in Jewish history and rituals, has soared ahead, filling in the gaps in her own Jewish learning.

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