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Comments on SerandEz and Friends: Here's An Opportunity...





Updated: 2013-06-25T09:05:38.343-04:00

 



1) Intermarriage. A world of RWMO and charedim wil...

2008-05-11T19:09:00.000-04:00

1) Intermarriage. A world of RWMO and charedim will mean the end of Israel, and an increase in anti-Semitism. Take a look at the Sunday NY Times article on Obama to see the role influential secular Jews play in American Jewish life.
Solution...give up on kiruv and try to bring yiddishkeit to Jews where they are.

2) The failure of MO to develop an alternative leadership that can influence the entire Jewish world and stand up to charedim. The failure of all denominations to develop lay leadership, and forms of public opinion where all voices can be heard. Until the Jewish community becomes more democratic it will remain an oligarchy of the gedolim and the rich.
Solution...baalei batim have to put some backbone in their rabbis who are in general a bunch of ninnies, and the Fedration and other Jewish organizations must become more open and democratic.

3)The impoverishment of the Jewish middle class and the growing dichotomy between rich and poor.

Solution…There is none. It will become important in the future to develop home schooling and other alternatives to Jewish education, since the costs will continue to go up and real incomes will decline.



Hmmm, I'm not all that great at these sort of ques...

2008-05-09T11:57:00.000-04:00

Hmmm, I'm not all that great at these sort of questions but I'll give it a shot.

1.

2. Education. There needs to be more "thinking for yourself" type of education going on and less "let me spoon-feed one side of Judaism down your throat."

3. Labels. For a religion which professes dictums such as "dan l'kaf zechut" and "v'ahavta l'reiacha kamocha," there is an awful lot of judging going on based on externals, schools, where you live, etc. - and all that judging happens before you even know a person. There are stereotypes everywhere, but how many times do we fight disagreeable stereotypes as Jews? So shouldn't we learn from that not to judge everyone by stereotypes? Labeling people does more harm than good and I think it's one of the biggest dividers of the Jewish nation.

I'm still trying to think of something for 1, but that's all for now. I hope that's what you were looking for!



1) Conversions. If even the Orthodox can’t agree...

2008-05-07T13:45:00.000-04:00

1) Conversions. If even the Orthodox can’t agree on what constitutes a valid conversion, what's to become of the rest of us? This is not a new issue—I posted about it almost 3 years ago— and it’s not going to go away. The Jewish community worldwide is in dire need of joint (involving rabbis from all streams of Judaism) local batei din (Jewish religious courts) that will ensure that all conversions are recognized by all Jews (or most, at least). This crisis is going to tear the Jewish people apart if it's not solved.

2) Jewish education for those with disabilities. Yes, I have an axe to grind—my son was refused admission to a Solomon Schechter (Conservative) Day School because of his social-skills delays—and I’m going to grind that axe as loudly as I can! Some efforts have been made to provide a Jewish education to children with disabilities in recent decades, and those involved are certainly to be commended. But there's not nearly enough available by way of personnel and/or funding and/or facilities to help all the kids who need help.

3) A solution to the Aguna problem. The inability of a Jewish woman to divorce her husband without his consent—and the result that hundreds of women are chained for life in dead marriages—is a problem that has plagued the Jewish people for centuries. The suffering of women, and the black eye that this problem gives the rabbinate, should have impelled the rabbis to find a solution years ago.



Funny, I was about to post on the same subject and...

2008-05-07T11:15:00.000-04:00

Funny, I was about to post on the same subject and call it On the Agenda.

R' Horowitz has a piece up that I think details one of the major issues that has a little bit to do with a lot of other issues.

So... 1) Image. To some extent, this requires greater awareness of how we come across, less dismissal of the opinions of the outside world (while simultaneously not allowing ourselves to just worry about image over substance), and better understanding of how we can do the same things in different ways or using different words so that it is understood better.

2) Economics. This requires opening up the books of schools, shuls, and institutions, seeing where waste is, getting rid of it, seeing where redundancies are, getting rid of those, and analyzing where money can be pooled to increase what we can get out of our resources.

3) Education. This somewhat relates to both of the above, but there are a large number of issues with our educational system that need to be addressed. Too long to detail in a comment.

Note that these were not in order of importance. I think Economics is first.