Saturday, December 12, 2009

Conservative Judaism - Increasingly irrelevant


Some of Conservative Judaism's top leaders found little to criticize within their own movement when they gathered together December 7 for a panel discussion on the future direction of their troubled denomination.

The plenary forum at the biennial convention of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism saw one panelist tout renewed involvement by rabbinic spouses in congregational life as a crucial tonic. Another lamented that the movement's "detractors" failed to recognize Conservative Judaism's far-reaching and vital role in Jewish life. Yet another acknowledged generically that the movement had "failed to live up to our own best ideals," but did not specify how.

Meanwhile, the chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary - traditionally seen as Conservative Judaism's titular leader - was nowhere to be seen on the dais or even in the audience. Though spotted having dinner just minutes earlier with USCJ?s new executive vice president, Rabbi Steven Wernick, who served as a panelist, it was announced from the podium that Chancellor Arnold Eisen had been invited to participate but was "unable" to make it. JTS spokeswoman Sherry Kirschenbaum did not deny a report that Eisen declined to take part in the panel because he wanted, but was denied, the role of moderator.[...]

1 comment :

  1. Recipients and PublicityDecember 15, 2009 at 3:01 AM

    "Conservative Judaism - Increasingly irrelevant" -- so what else is news? Whatver is left of this once vast movement, has now been swallowed up by Reform, where it all began about 120 years ago when the American Reform establishment was alarmed by the arrival of the millions of Orthodox Jews from Eastern Europe starting from the 1880s, the reviled so-called "Ost-yidden" that the Germanized Reform movement feared, and seeing that the Jewish masses from Eastern Europe would not accept the radical drop in Judaism by Reform, it was the American Reform leaders who set about creating and sponsoring the Conservative movement as a way to undermine the Orthodoxy of the newly-arrived Eastern European masses and to start the gradual process of moving them over in the direction of Reform. Sort of like the Christian missionaries who know that most Jews cannot convert outright to being Christians so they created and sponsor the "Jews for Jesus" and "Hebrew Christian" groups to lure Jews away from their natural spiritual moorings with the illusion that "all is the same" when it is far from it.

    Thus in the beginning, the first thing that the Conservative movement adopted from Reform was the dropping and banishment of the mechitza between men and women and some congregations adopting mixed seating while retaining much of the original Hebrew-language Orthodox-style services. Then they changed the prayer books to shortened and modernized prayers. The rest is history and with each passing decade and as each generation died out the Conservative movement never moved closer to Orthodoxy but always towards it's Reform mother so that today the two movements are indistinguishable, both accept female rabbis, both are pro-gay and accept homsexual clergy, both have no real standards for accepting gentiles married to Jews who are part of Reform and Conservatism, both detest Haredi Jews and Likud-type Zionism, both are ultra-liberal.


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