The challenge for Conservative Judaism

Right now there’s a war going on where Israel is defending herself against an awful terror threat from the genocidal theocratic regime in Gaza and from unremitting hostile lawfare on the diplomatic front.

Worldwide, anti-Semitism of all stripes is surging. The demographics of the Conservative US Jewish community challenge its viable future.

And now, at this sensitive moment, Mr Arnold Eisen, the head of Conservative Judaism’s flagship institution JTS, shares his thoughts with the world; an OpEd in a flagship institution of the US media, the WSJ.

His subject?

“Efforts to discourage intermarriage have failed. It’s time to bring more non-Jews into the faith”

converts

What an argument! The bottom line is that Conservative Judaism is, by and large, failing to engage young people and retain their commitment. Why would non-Jews be interested in a Judaism that cannot even retain Jews?

Of course, there is also the elephant in the room. There is a branch of Judaism that doesn’t have a problem with intermarriage. Maybe the Conservative movement could learn a few things from the Orthodox?

I support conversion. The barrier for conversion in Conservative Judaism is already minimal. And yet we have many young Jews married to non-Jewish partners for whom even this minimal level is too much.

I understand the dynamic of liberalism that lead to such modes of thought in the Conservative Jewish community. But the reality is that Conservative Judaism faces more serious problems and deserves leaders with more courageous and creative visions.

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