Denominationalism: The Future of Reform, Conservative & Orthodox

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Miami’s Reform Bet Breira decided to merge with a Conservative synagogue, so the synagoguge has dual affiliation, one of at least 12 such synagogues. Some expect more mergers or more “strategic alliances” between  Conservative and Reform synagogues. (Jewish Week)

Raymond B. Goldstein argues against rapid change in the Conservative movement: “Swift, large-scale changes imposed from our headquarters in New York would violate the very spirit of greater transparency under which we are committed to operating. We need time to build consensus among our international membership.” (Jewish Week)

Jonathan D. Sarna, ticking off five significant problems the Orthodox face, notes, “saying Kaddish for other religious movements has often been the first sign of a movement’s own impending decline.” (Forward)

Even in mainstream Orthodox synagogues “‘decorum’ is the bête noir. But the issue is not the din of conversation; for most congregants it is the poverty of the experience of worship.”  Will the new siddur help? (Jewish Week)

Posted on June 17, 2009

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0 thoughts on “Denominationalism: The Future of Reform, Conservative & Orthodox

  1. Ron Krumpos

    May someone who is not Jewish respond? Understanding and cooperation between Reform, Conservative and Orthodox does not imply merging. Despite their best intentions and efforts toward ecumenism, no one would expect a merger between Eastern Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholics or among Ibadis, Shias and Sunnis. Swami Nikhikananda, who founded the Ramakirshna-Vivekananda Center in New York and my first mentor in mysticism, wrote:
    “The nearer we are to God, the closer we shall feel toward other religions. In God we all meet. In order to promote religious harmony, let us deepen our religious consciousness. Let us come nearer to God by following our respective faiths and not by jumping from one faith to another. Let the Hindu, the Moslem, the Christian, the Jew emphasize the spirit and not the letter of their scriptures, and all religious quarrels will stop. All religions are challenged today by a common enemy: the rising tide of skepticism and secularism.”

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