9780791446904

The Conservative Movement in Judaism: Dilemmas and Opportunities

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780791446904

  • ISBN10:

    0791446905

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2000-09-01
  • Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr
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Summary

Viewing the Conservative Movement at a turning point, this book analyzes the problems facing the largest religious movement in the American Jewish community and outlines a plan of action for the future. Elazar and Geffen suggest: clarifying ideology, mission, and purpose, finding the right balance between traditionalists and advocates of change, unifying movement institutions in a cooperative effort, staunching the decline of membership to the left, recapturing the loyalty of lapsed adherents, closing the gap in observance between the laity and the standard bearers of the movement, developing the Movement in Israel and world-wide, and strengthening ties with Jewish federations and other Jewish communal bodies. The authors propose that the Conservative Movement's remedying of these problems will benefit not just American, but all world Jewry.

Author Biography

Daniel J. Elazar was the President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and Professor Emeritus of Intergovernmental Relations at Bar-Ilan University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction: Conservative Judaism: Past and Future 1(1)
The Conservative Achievement
1(3)
Confronting Difficult Issues
4(3)
Methodology of This Study
7(1)
Looking Toward the Future
8(3)
Part I: The State of the Movement 11(148)
A History of Ambivalence
13(16)
A Reluctant Separation
14(5)
The Movement As a Party
19(5)
From Party to Camp?
24(5)
Institutions
29(24)
The Changing Position of the Seminary
29(2)
The Congregational Heart of the Movement
31(3)
The Variety of Congregational Models
34(7)
A Note on Youth Movements
41(2)
New Institutions Emerge
43(1)
The Ramah Camps
43(4)
The Havurot
47(1)
The Solomon Schechter Schools
48(5)
Ideology and Theology
53(16)
God, Torah, and Israel
54(5)
Shifts and Stages
59(6)
Benchmarks and Boundaries
65(4)
Style
69(22)
Sephardim and Litvaks
69(2)
Elite and Mass
71(3)
Rabbinical Preeminence
74(5)
Synagogism
79(3)
Religious Observance
82(9)
Demographics
91(26)
Concentric Circles of Jewishness
91(8)
Decline in the Fourth Generation
99(6)
Orthodoxy Resurgent
105(3)
The Changing Family
108(4)
A Note on Regionalism in the Conservative Movement
112(5)
Leadership
117(10)
In the Movement
117(2)
In the Congregations
119(3)
In the Jewish World
122(1)
Voluntary Leadership in the Existing Institutional Framework
122(5)
The World Movement
127(18)
The New Context of World Jewry
128(1)
The Scope of the World Conservative/Masorti Movement
129(5)
The Movement in Israel
134(6)
A Missed Direction
140(1)
A New Partnership
141(4)
What the Movement's Leadership Seeks
145(14)
Raising the Halakhic Profile
146(1)
Enhancing Conservative Intellectual Life
147(2)
Addressing the Spiritual Needs of Conservative Jews
149(2)
The Communal Approach
151(1)
The Zionist Approach
152(1)
Resolving Conflicts, Setting Priorities
153(6)
Part II: Next Steps 159(46)
Ideology, Halakhah, and a Broadened Base
161(22)
The Need for Ideological Clarification
162(5)
Fostering a More Serious Halakhic Movement
167(2)
Broadening the Base
169(3)
Confronting the Demographic Challenge
172(2)
Building a Real World Movement
174(1)
Building a Masorti Movement in Israel
175(4)
Is Conservative Judaism Best Served through a Single Movement or a Multi-Movement Community?
179(1)
Links to the Jewish People
180(3)
Internal Unity
183(22)
From Congregationalism to Community
183(2)
Reducing the Gap between the Circles
185(4)
Integrating the Movement's Parts into a Whole
189(4)
Broadening the Leadership
193(2)
The Role of the Jewish Theological Seminary
195(2)
Strengthening Rabbinic Leadership
197(1)
Learning from History: A Summary and Final Word
198(7)
Glossary 205(4)
Notes 209(16)
Index 225

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