Hearts Broken But We Will Keep Living

Published October 18, 2023 on Exploring Judaism Our hearts have been broken over and over again. We now know that atrocities and the brutalization of our people are not only a part of our history, they are the reality of being Jewish in 2023. We also know now how interconnected we are as a people. There is no separation between us and those mourning the loss of loved ones massacred or kidnapped. Read More

A North American Conservative Judaism for the next generation

Published February 18, 2021 by Times of Israel “Unless this is done, I declare unhesitatingly that traditional Judaism will not survive another generation in this country.” The “this” in the quote above refers to change, and the words come from Solomon Schechter’s address at the founding of the United Synagogue in 1913. What were Schechter’s radical reforms, integral to the survival of Judaism? Sermons in English, “scientific” methods of rabbinic training, and “order and decorum” in the synagogue. These, on the whole, have been addressed over the last century. Yet Schechter’s sentiment that our institutions must change if they are to survive is, once again, exactly right. Read More

Jewish leaders: This year’s High Holidays need a new approach

Published August 11, 2020 by Times of Israel Jewish communal leaders have a lot of their shoulders right now. They are in the midst of trying to plan high holiday services, determining whether and how to open schools, recalculating budgets and staffing structures and so much more. At stake is nothing less than the physical wellbeing of our people and the future of Jewish communal life. Read More

Silence is not a Solution

Published July 14, 2014 by The Times of Israel Is there drivel online? Of course there is, and it’s posted by peoples on all sides of every issue. There are also an unfortunate number of hateful posts, but condemning the entirety of social media is akin to suggesting that we cut back on visits to the library because it contains trashy novels and offensive works. Read More

The Women’s Section

Published August 28, 2013 by The Times of Israel Compromise is always difficult. The plan we’ve heard rumors about in recent days is certainly not everything that I hoped for – and not enough, even for now. I hope that this is only a temporary improvement– to be followed by more expansive and equitable permanent improvements. But, for now, at least, it will expand the area where my Abba and I can daven side by side. Read More

Tikkun Olam: Ethical Mitzvot are Mitzvot

Published June 3, 2013 by JNS.org While I certainly uphold the religious importance of fulfilling ritual commandments, it seems far too simplistic to criticize proponents of Tikkun Olam for not engaging enough in mitzvot. For one thing: even if Tikkun Olam itself isn’t one of the 613 commandments, ethical mitzvot are mitzvot. Perhaps there is no categorical imperative to repair the world, but there are clear Jewish imperatives to feed the hungry, care for the needy, and save lives. Read More