From The Jewish Week to Ha’aretz, from many pulpits and all over the blogosphere, people have been talking about Daniel Gordis’ “requiem” for Conservative Judaism. We continue this lively, instructive conversation with seven responses from some of the movement’s most thoughtful teachers and rabbis, along with a response from Jonathan D. Sarna, one of the leading historians of American Jewry.
- Noah Benjamin Bickart of The Jewish Theological Seminary teaches Jews who are passionate about “an egalitarian, halakhic, yet non-fundamentalist Judaism,“ even though they may not call themselves Conservative Jews.
- Elliot N. Dorff argues that numbers don’t dictate the strength of a movement; the power of its ideas does.
- Susan Grossman acknowledges the movement’s failings, but sees more reason for hope than despair.
- For Judith Hauptman, the Conservative push for women’s rights holds the key to its future—and the future of Judaism as a whole.
- Moving to Israel has clouded Gordis’ ability to understand the American Jewish scene, argues Jeremy Kalmanofsky.
- Whether it’s 18 percent or eight families, Gordon Tucker maintains “patience and tenaciousness change the world,” a fact that is lost when we focus on numbers.
- David B. Starr says that Gordis asked the right question, but the answer may be harder than he thinks.
- Plus Jonathan D. Sarna looks back at a time when both Reform and Orthodox Judaism in America seemed imperiled.
Daniel Gordis replies to his critics and outlines his positive vision for the future. His proposal may surprise you.
What is lost when the books of the Hebrew Bible are read as philosophy?
There were two Jewish shape-shifters in my Faerie and Zion reading this month.
Zionism has long based its claim to sovereignty on the universal right to national self-determination, and the phrase “like all other nations” has been incorporated into Israel’s Declaration of Independence, yet the goal of “normalization” has proven to be much more complicated than most early Zionists had thought.
As the Yuletide rolls in, one finds oneself yearning for some Hanukkah pop with a little more depth than Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah song.