Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Whither Reform?

To begin this post, let me be clear: I'm not shrying gavult over the fate of the Reform Movement, nor am I worried about its future--Reform Synagogues will continue with strength, along with the Camps, the Religious Action Center, and the College-Institute. The ethos of Reform will thrive long after I'm gone: egalitarianism, welcoming others, social justice, and embracing a Jewish life fully inclusive of modernity and modern values. Having said that, there is an anxiety out there, reflected in the article by David Ellenson I posted last week, and several articles in the Forward (and other places) on the future of Reform, including an article from a month (or more) ago on the efforts of some Reform rabbis to enter dialogue with the movement institutions about their future--especially that of the URJ--right when Rabbi Eric Yoffie is stepping down as President. (an effort I've signed off on, by the way).

So it's pretty clear that the Reform Movement's institutions are at a crossroads. Reform has never been more relevant as a practice, but what should be the priority (or priorities), the direction, of the Reform Movement as practiced by her institutions? Where should Reform go as a movement? How should it be structured? Who should lead the way? What do you think?

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