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Are Synagogues Still Relevant?
The Jewish Week, March 15, 2011
Jewish funders are more eager to fund alternatives to synagogues than innovations within synagogues. Benefitting from this trend are independent minyanim, outreach programs to non-traditional populations (e.g. 20-somethings, LGBTs, interfaith families, etc.), public-space Judaism, environmental programs and social justice initiatives. Indeed many of these new initiatives are benefitting from a burst of energy from the younger generation in things Jewish and growing support for social entrepreneurship to reinvent the Jewish community. There is much to celebrate in these new developments, but it would be unwise to write off synagogues just yet. The cumulative cost of all synagogue buildings and professional staff in America represents the single biggest investment of Jewish communal dollars that exists. As a class, synagogues can be criticized for not adjusting quickly enough to changes in American society and culture, and they are losing market share as a result. However, I don’t know of anyone who believes that what synagogues offer can be replaced by the Internet.
Name of Publication: The Jewish Week
Editor: Rosenblatt, Gary
Coverage: United States
Copyright Holder: Author
Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link
Schwarz, Sidney. Are Synagogues Still Relevant?. The Jewish Week. The Jewish Week. 15 March 2011: http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=8880
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