Who Needs Denominations?

By Yehudah Mirsky

Tikvah Fund, October 20, 2010

Several weeks ago, an American law professor who serves on his synagogue's search committee for a new rabbi put forward the provocative argument that the process was not only stifling but illegal. The culprit, he wrote, was the highly restrictive role played by national rabbinic bodies, especially the Conservative movement's Rabbinical Assembly and the Reform movement's Central Conference of American Rabbis. (To read the article, click here).

The professor may or may not be right on the law. But his article, taken together with other developments like the emergence of the liberal Orthodox International Rabbinic Fellowship and the non-denominational rabbinical school of Boston's Hebrew College, as well as the rising popularity of pluralist "community schools" and independent prayer groups (minyanim)—and, above all, the fact that membership numbers in Conservative and Reform congregations are static or falling—leads one to ask, not for the first time, what exactly American Jewish religious denominations are for.

Topic: Rabbis, Community Development, Training, Modernity, Religious Denominations

Name of Publication: Jewish Ideas Daily

Editor: Mirsky, Yehudah

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Genre: Article

Coverage: North America

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Mirsky, Yehudah. Who Needs Denominations?. Jewish Ideas Daily. Tikvah Fund. 20 October 2010: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=7240


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