By Kathy Elias
What has United Synagogue been doing in the last month since the opening of its Centennial – The Conversation of the Century?
We have been going through evaluations, developing a schedule of webinars that will feature speakers and resources from the conference, and simultaneously laying the groundwork for our next convention. We have been delighted by the calls and emails from hundreds of attendees with a single message: “Give us more!”
The feedback from our sessions tells us why. After many of the workshops during our conference, people filled out short questionnaires to note what they learned, what they’ll do next, and what additional questions remain.
"I believe that some of the critical problems in Jewish life today that need to turn into possibilities have to do with the fact that we spend too much time catching up to trends rather than forecasting them. And I would like to use three important figures to illustrate my point." Read Dr. Brown's entire speech here.
Rabbi Steven Wernick
Rabbi Wernick is CEO of United Synagogue
"Let’s be real. There is much that needs fixing. And readjusting. And tweaking. We are here as agents of the transformation of Conservative Jewish life. It is our hope that this Centennial serves as a turning point – a pivot between an uncertain present and a promising future." Read the entire speech here.
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
"The challenge facing Conservative Judaism, and all wisdom traditions, is not just a few institutional adjustments, although those are needed. ... The challenge is to provide wisdom, consolation, and courage as people seek to live their lives and fashion communities of inclusion and justice today. ... Ours is the generation that will refashion Conservative Judaism in a new image, one that integrates heart, mind and soul." Listen to Rabbi Artson's complete address here.
Rabbi Harold Kushner
"I think I have the bumper sticker. My bumper sticker for Conservative Judaism would read kadshenu b’mitzvotecha – send holiness into our lives through the mitzvot. What is holiness? Holiness is articulating our humanity by doing things that human beings can do that other creatures can’t. And the best source of holiness is imposing choice on instinct."