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Conservative Variation

Conservative Variation

Much has been written about the gap between what the
Conservative movement preaches and what its adherents practice (“The Mourning
After: Pew’s Unheralded Surprise,” Opinion, Dec. 6). Generally, this has
been interpreted to mean that Conservative Jews practiced “less” than the
movement called for. I’d like to share a variation on this theme of the
divide between “preach and practice.”

It used to simply annoy me when I
studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary or was involved with United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism that many of the professional
leaders of these Conservative organizations in their personal life
participated primarily in Orthodox institutions; these included belonging to
Orthodox synagogues, sending their children to Orthodox schools and camps, regularly participating in non-egalitarian minyans, etc. Now I recognize
that it wasn’t simply annoying, but rather there was a
price to be paid down the road by the Conservative movement when it
repeatedly chose leaders who personally identified with Orthodox institutions
and thus, did not “practice what they preached.”




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