Ken Koltun-Fromm The Unfolding Tradition: Jewish Law After Sinai. Elliot N. Dorff. Aviv Press, 2005, 566 pp., $19.95 Elliot Dorff has put together a masterful collection of Jewish writings on the meaning and function of Jewish law within the Conservative movement in America. As one of the leading American theoreticians of halakhah, Dorff strongly defends
Sam Wyman Most supervisors and employers have fired someone for improper acts like theft, repeated tardiness, or insubordination. While no dismissal is easy, the moral texture of this kind of termination is relatively smooth; there is a cause and effect. A sense of justice, or at least a clear sense of fairness, prevails. But what
After an intensive three-year effort, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism has a plan, backed by the former and current movement presidents, to transform itself into a high performance organization, with a core mission to re-energize its North American congregations.
Letters to an Incoming Chancellor:
From Jeffrey E. Schwarz: As you move into your new offices at 3080 Broadway and assume your position as head of the Jewish Theological Seminary and de facto leader of the Conservative movement, we are facing the greatest challenges in our history. Partially a product of broader societal trends being played out in 21st-century America, partially a reflection of denominational developments in Judaism, but unquestionably, to some degree of the movement’s own making, these challenges beg two fundamental questions about the future of the movement:
• What does the Conservative movement uniquely stand for (if anything)?
• Does the Conservative movement need to exist?
From Martin Werber
As the new chancellor, you must enthusiastically promote a Conservative Jewish lifestyle and a Conservative Jewish prism through which to view the world. The excitement, the exploration and discovery at the seminary must be projected beyond the gates of 3080 Broadway. This needs to be more than intellectual gymnastics; it needs to be a passionate appeal that a lifestyle of fulfilling mitzvot will enhance life and bring a deeper connection to God and to the Jewish community.
1. How will Conservative Judaism accommodate change without losing its identity and sense of itself as a movement?
2. How does the Conservative movement straddle the “middle” between Orthodoxy and Reform Judaism?
3. Are Conservative Jews “commanded” by God or do they “choose” observance?