Jpost - Sherwin Pomerantz The writer is president of Atid EDI Ltd., a Jerusalem-based economic development consulting firm,
Rabbi Jerome Epstein's op-ed regarding bringing back the Conservative Movement's most committed young people to Conservative synagogues (March 17) reminds me of the farmer who closed the barn door after the horses left.
His statement that "many of the more committed people who were inspired by our movement have chosen to identify with Orthodox congregations, not because of the ideology but because they seek others who share their commitment to the very ideals that we say we hold dear. They bought into what we said we stand for - but they do not find it in our synagogues. So they seek elsewhere" describes exactly my situation as well as that of so many of my friends and associates who grew up in the Conservative Movement in the US and who now live traditional life styles within the framework of Orthodox synagogues, albeit for the most part in what is know as "modern" Orthodox.
I am a product of the movement. I was president of one of its Chicago area synagogues, Midwest regional president, chairman of the United Synagogue's Council of Regional Presidents, national vice president and, upon making aliya in 1984, founder and officer of Kehilat Ya'ar Ramot, the Conservative congregation in that Jerusalem neighborhood. Yet today, I am the head of the board of the Ohel Nehama synagogue in Katamon and very much involved in the life of that community. What happened?
Rabbi Epstein, whom I have known for the more than 35 years that he has been a professional with the United Synagogue, hits the nail on the head when he says: "They perceive that there is no place for them and their Judaism in the Conservative synagogue." It was not as if those of us who were in the ranks of the traditionalists of the movement left the movement, rather the movement left us by failing to support, in practice, what the movement purported to support in theory.[...]