Aish HaTorah NY and the Union for Reform Judaism Find Common Ground with Bring Israel Home By Naomi Abelson and Rabbi David Markowitz We’ve heard the story before: a young woman goes on a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip and returns home with fun stories and an iPhone full of pictures. She also returns home energized and enthusiastic about the new friends she’s made and the knowledge she’s gained about Judaism and Israel. She’s questioning how … [Read more...] about Strange Bedfellows
The American Jewish Scene
What does a more perfect Jewish world look like in the eyes of the Conservative Movement? And how does that world intersect with and influence the broader world? [This essay is from "Philanthropic Priorities in Light of Pew," reprinted with permission from Contact, a publication of The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life.] By Rabbi Hayim Herring The Reform and Conservative Movements are accidents of history and will disappear within 50 … [Read more...] about Ready to Prove a Prediction Wrong?
By Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas When I was ordained a cantor in 2011, I never imagined that leading a congregation’s young adult group would fall within my professional portfolio. I’d never taken the much-lauded community organizing class and I didn’t think informal education was my thing. (In retrospect, it would have been great to have developed community organizing and informal education skills in advance.) As a part-time assistant cantor in … [Read more...] about The Porch: It’s Southern, It’s Open, and It’s Jewish
By Paul Golin Even if you’re a very casual observer of the U.S. Jewish community and a friend who knows nothing about it asks you, “How big a phenomenon is Jewish intermarriage?” you’d probably be able to answer, “It’s pretty big.” There is a pantheon of proudly Jewish celebrities from Jon Stewart to Natalie Portman to Michael Douglas to Scarlett Johansson who have intermarried. (Douglas and Johansson are also children of intermarriage … [Read more...] about Just How Big Is Intermarriage? You Don’t Really Know.
By Jerry D. Isaak-Shapiro If Jerome Chanes had written “Orthodox “Retention” and Kiruv: the Bad News and the Good News” (eJewish Philanthropy and Contact Magazine, 8.20.14) for a newspaper, veteran editors would have said that he had buried his lead. After opening with a focus on the ostensible “bad news” (emulating another adage from media: if it bleeds, it leads) of poor intra-Orthodox retention, he only gets to the good stuff two-thirds … [Read more...] about Drop the Ambivalence – It’s All Good