Thursday, December 30, 2004

Do We Want the Conservative Movement to Die?

My latest Jewish Week column (December 24) discusses the mounting troubles faced by the Conservative movement. I noted that Solomon Schechter schools, many of which are experiencing a declining enrollment and some have closed, are Jewishly superior to nearly all transdenominational Community day schools and that their decline and the more general decline of Conservatism does not bode well for Israel or kiruv activities. I also suggested that Conservatives needed to have a more unified and more vigorously led movement. A Rosh Yeshiva called to say that the column was "a hot potato," with people wondering why I felt it necessary to give advice to Jews who aren't observant. Perhaps I shouldn't be giving such advice. Perhaps it would be better if the Conservatives would move further away from our heritage and ultimately walk away entirely from Jewish life, taking the path already taken by at least half of American Jews.

Cross-posted on Cross-Currents