Strengthening the Conservative Movement

By Michael Greenbaum

Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS), Rabbinical Assembly of America (RA), Fall 2003

Ask a Conservative Jew what is wrong with the Conservative movement today and you are likely to hear one of the following criticisms: (1) Conservative Judaism is unclear as to what it stands for and believes in and, therefore, is in need of greater definition; (2) The movement's national organizations do not work together; (3) The movement lacks a coordinated vision from which would follow a specific agenda.

None of these three complaints are at the root of the condition of the Conservative movement. The current state of the movement is due, in large part, to the belief which makes us unique--our commitment to klal yisrael, the Jewish people as a whole. As a result, we lack a passion for who we are, for what we believe in, and for what we stand for. The problem is rather paradoxical. Our commitment to klal yisrael precludes or inhibits us from self-identifying as Conservative Jews, and so the world does not know nor understand that this commitment to all Jewry is the cornerstone of Conservative Judaism.

Topic: Masorti Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Religious Denominations

Name of Publication: Conservative Judaism

Page Number(s): 107-114

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Greenbaum, Michael. Strengthening the Conservative Movement. Conservative Judaism. Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS),Rabbinical Assembly of America (RA). Fall 2003: 107-114.


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