The slide in the picture, from Prof. Sylvia Barack Fishman‘s presentation yesterday at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute‘s International Conference on Contemporary Reform Judaism, depicts a sentiment I’ve been warning about for years. This quote is from an interview with one of Prof. Fishman’s students at Brandeis, but she said that it was typical of many of her students. So I guess this means I wasn’t just crying wolf.
The two-day conference continues today and promises to be interesting, so if you’re in Jerusalem, stop by the Van Leer Institute (it’s free and open to the public), and if you’re not, you can tune in to the live web broadcast. I only caught a little bit of yesterday’s sessions, but I’ll have more time today since my Arabic class is cancelled (apparently most of the students are observing some sort of holiday or something), and I’ll be covering it for Jewschool.
Unlike the recent URJ biennial, this is not a conference put on by the Reform movement — this is an academic conference talking about Reform Judaism. And I must say that, in the limited time I was there yesterday, I found it quite refreshing to hear Reform Judaism discussed with respect, rather than either disdain or defensiveness.
No time to write more — I’m off to hear about “Halakhah and Ritual in Reform Judaism”. Perhaps I’ll see some of you there.