With LimmudLA as the jumping off point, Get Religion has waded into the Jewish culture scene, by asking if Michelle Citrin’s “Rosh Hashanah Girl” video counts as “CJM, ‘Contemporary Jewish Music.’” The author’s missed the point so many times in this post, I can hardly keep track. It’s contemporary, it’s Jewish, and it’s music. So what part of “CJM” is it missing? I don’t think something has to be deeper or explicitly spiritual to be CJM. (And, fo’ real, who uses the term ‘CJM’?)
But that’s not the focus of the post.
He’s disappointed that opposing views weren’t included in an LA Times article about LimmudLA. He claims that LimmudLA is all about “flexidoxy”, borrowing a term form an article he wrote back in 2001. He doesn’t seem to understand that there can be pluralistic, trans-denominational Jewish settings that welcome people regardless of affiliation, and attempt to offer something for people from every/no denomination.
I found it interesting that the Los Angeles Times piece didn’t include any Jewish voices — right or left — that were uncomfortable with the LimmudLA approach. At the same time, it’s clear that the doctrinal differences are right there up front in this conference, with the only question being whether people are truly allowed to agree to disagree. There is that “God” thing, after all.
Um, what? I admit I haven’t been to LimmudLA, but I have been to LimmudNY a few times. The whole idea is pluralism, “Jews of all stripes.” Chances are, those who disagree with a pluralistic Jewish space won’t attend Limmud in the first place. But at an event that makes strives to be inclusive to all, I had great conversations, learned with and from, and prayed beside Jews from a wide variety of backgrounds and practices. It was lovely. There are thousands of Jews going to Limmuds every year around the globe, and I’m guessing some would identify with a “right or left” voice. (Is this a linear model of denominations? Do I also have to argue with the author about why and how this is inaccurate?)
Bottom line, I enjoy reading the Get Religion blog. But I don’t understand why we should be disappointed that the LA Times didn’t try harder to find conflict, which clearly wasn’t there. (If you were at LimmudLA, I’d love to hear about it. Please tell us about it in the comments!)