Tag Archives: Denominations

Getting Over Intermarriage

Is it just me, or do the conversations surrounding intermarriage feel more than a little unhelpful? Can a Jew marry someone from a different background? Should Jewish clergy officiate at such weddings? For decades, these questions have represented the totality … Continue reading

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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

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A House of Prayer for All People – Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5775

              In the Jewish tradition, each new year provides an opportunity to pause, reflect, and refocus. We consider the events of the year that has passed, celebrate our triumphs, and confront our failures. Looking … Continue reading

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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

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When a brutal winter breaks down barriers between U.S. Jewish communities

This has been an especially brutal winter for the Middle Atlantic region of the United States. At least a dozen winter storms have hit since November, each more punishing than the last. A few weeks ago, one of these storms … Continue reading

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Assimilation is Good for Jews

The Pew Research Center’s recently released “Portrait of Jewish Americans” set off alarm bells in the Jewish world over “assimilation.” The study implied that Jews are becoming less Jewish, that Judaism itself is becoming diluted by outside, secular culture, and that we … Continue reading

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A Purpose-Driven Conservative Movement

A few days ago, I returned from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ)’s centennial celebration, entitled the “Conversation of the Century.” I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for the USCJ leadership and for the convention’s organizers, … Continue reading

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Have Synagogues Failed? Can They be Fixed? Thoughts on the Pew Study

The Jewish blogosphere and institutional world are alight discussing the Pew Research Center Survey of American Jews. Among other things, the study found that religious identification and belief in God is dropping in non-Orthodox segments of the Jewish world, while … Continue reading

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A Vision From The Mountain – Rosh Hashanah Day 2 5774

Growing up in Georgia, one of my favorite excursions was climbing Stone Mountain, a large granite formation about twenty miles from Atlanta. It’s not too big or hard to climb, but on a clear day, its summit yields stunning vistas: … Continue reading

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From Tisha B’Av to Tu B’Av, discovering the key to redemption

Close to 2,000 years ago, Roman forces destroyed the Jewish Temple, razed Jerusalem, and nearly extinguished all Jewish civilization. The rabbis of the Talmud asserted that this catastrophe, which Jews around the world commemorated last week on Tisha B’Av, happened … Continue reading

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