Rabbinical Assembly

Meeting Gilad Shalit

07/03/2012
Jewish Week Online Columnist

As the President of the Rabbinical Assembly, I was privileged to participate in a small lunchtime reception welcoming the recently liberated Israeli prisoner of war Gilad Shalit to New York. The reception was sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the umbrella organization whose constituent members had played an integral part in the international campaign to gain Shalit’s release.
 

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Self-Image and the Non-Orthodox World: The Case For Auto-Emancipation 2012

06/20/2012
Jewish Week Online Columnist

If you’ve spent any serious time in Israel and have traveled to its major cities, you will undoubtedly have noticed that virtually all of them have streets named after famous, deceased Zionist leaders and thinkers. There are countless boulevards, highways and avenues named after Herzl, Ahad-Ha’am, Ben-Gurion, Rothschild, Begin, Rabin, Ussishkin, Arlozorov… you get the picture.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik is spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center.

Conservative Rabbis Approve Same-Sex Marriage Guidelines

06/03/2012

The Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards -- which sets halachic policy for the Conservative movement -- has voted unanimously to provide the approximately 1,600 Conservative rabbis with guidelines on performing same-sex marriages.

The move is an official sanction of the ceremonies by the movement.

New Rabbis: The Agony and the Ecstasy

05/25/2012

My son-in-law Yoni Warren, a Navy chaplain in Okinawa, Japan posted to a Marine battalion, has spent the better part of the past week discovering just how difficult and painful a rabbi’s life can be, in uniform or out. A note to help understand this story… In the military, regardless of what corps you’re in as a chaplain, you minister to all military personnel regardless of faith, corps, or any other determinant.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik is spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center.

Rabbinic Leadership in the 21st Century

What Really Matters to the People We Serve?

05/17/2012
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Since assuming the presidency of the Rabbinical Assembly almost two weeks ago, and for some weeks before then, people have been asking me exactly what it is that the Rabbinical Assembly does, and by extension, what the president does.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik is spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center, and president of the Rabbinical Assembly.

Pluralism In A Post-Pluralistic World

05/14/2012
Special to the Jewish Week

 

The Conservative Movement is in crisis.

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.

Assuming a New Responsibility

05/03/2012
Jewish Week Online Columnist

For the past six years, I have served as an officer of the Rabbinical Assembly, the 1600-member-strong international organization of Conservative rabbis.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik is spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center, and incoming President of the Rabbinical Assembly.

With the RA in Las Vegas: Beyond the Punchlines

04/01/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

On Sunday through Thursday of this week, hundreds of my colleagues in the Rabbinical Assembly and I gathered at our international convention, held this year in Las Vegas.  The Rabbinical Assembly is the professional organization of Conservative rabbis around the world.  In addition to my work as the rabbi of The Forest Hills Jewish Center, I currently serve as the RA's Vice-President, and am slated to assume the Presidency in another year.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Talking To Conservative Rabbis: What’s In A ‘Movement’?

03/29/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Since the beginning of January, I have been on a tour of North America and have seen over 400 Conservative rabbis face-to-face or conducted extensive phone interviews with them.

What am I looking for?

I have been reaching out to my colleagues with the question: “As a rabbi, what are you trying to accomplish in your community? How does your Torah inspire your community to bring change in their lives and the world?” In the aggregate, their stories are a lens on the Conservative movement today.

JDC Staffer to Chair Obama’s Faith-Based Panel

02/09/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama named a top American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee official as chairman of his faith-based council, as well as a top Conservative rabbi to the council.

Susan Stern, the government affairs adviser to the JDC, will chair the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a Feb. 4 White House announcement said.

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