Tag Archives: Conservative Judaism

Judaism for the Wise and Wicked: Passover 5782

Questions are perhaps the defining feature of the Seder. The ceremony, with its unusual rites and symbols, appears to have been specifically designed to arouse questions, particularly from children.  To all these questions, let me add one that I want … Continue reading

Posted in Sermons | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Renewing our Vows: A New Approach to Intermarriage

Recently, my congregation’s lay leadership voted to permit its clergy to officiate at marriages between a Jewish individual and a partner from another background (with some important conditions), if and when the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly and the Cantorial Assembly … Continue reading

Posted in Articles and Op-Eds | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Community, One Campus: Rosh Hashanah Day 1, 5777

Of all the enemies our ancestors faced in antiquity, perhaps none were more fearsome than the Assyrians. Around 900 BCE, Assyria began to conquer much of what was at the time the known world. The empire Assyria built stretched from … Continue reading

Posted in Sermons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Where They Are – Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5776/2015

What would it look like for synagogues to truly meet people where they are? Lessons from God and Wall Drug. Continue reading

Posted in Sermons | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

L’Dor Va-Dor: Making Bar/Bat Mitzvah Meaningful for a New Generation

This winter, the leadership of my dynamic congregation, Temple Beth-El, took the bold step of reconceptualizing everything about Bar/Bat Mitzvah. What follows is a description of what we’re doing differently, and why… Why reconceptualize Bar/Bat Mitzvah? We all know that … Continue reading

Posted in Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I’m Still a Conservative Jew

My name is Michael Knopf. I grew up at a Conservative synagogue; I spent my summers at Camp Ramah in New England, a Conservative movement camp; as a teen, I was president of my Atlanta chapter of United Synagogue Youth, … Continue reading

Posted in Articles and Op-Eds | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Legal Responsibility of Jewish Hotel Patrons

Over the past few years, I had been trying to pass a teshuvah (Jewish legal opinion) in the Conservative Movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards arguing that Jewish law insists we must not patronize businesses that abuse their workers. The paper … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Recipe for a Renaissance – Kol Nidrei 5774

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can … Continue reading

Posted in Sermons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

X-Mensch: Coming to a synagogue near you?

          Summer is upon us again, and with it movie season. This year, as with recent years, the multiplexes are being dominated by films on superheroes – from sequels to “Captain America,” “Spider-Man” and “X-Men” to … Continue reading

Posted in Articles and Op-Eds | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Synagogues Matter

Passover, which began last Monday and continues until Monday night in Israel and Tuesday night in the Diaspora, is a holiday that invites questions. This year, a year in the shadow of the Pew study, which showed only 1/3 of … Continue reading

Posted in Articles and Op-Eds | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment