Culture, Religion

Hysterically not-news JTA headline

Survey finds rabbis pessimistic about future, shul attendance
Seriously? Rabbis pessimistic about the future?
I don’t feel the need to comment further because we’ve written bookloads of words about how the mainstreams of Judaism don’t really get how vibrant Jewish life is…outside their very doors. But I just thought, “yes, rabbis pessimistic about the future. Jewish mothers, attempt guilt trip. Sun rises in morning.”

2 thoughts on “Hysterically not-news JTA headline

  1. “In a reflection of growing concern over synagogue engagement, participation in Jewish life beyond High Holidays services has replaced Israel as the top-ranking sermon topic this year. Last year, support for Israel was the country’s top sermon topic, with 72 percent of rabbis saying they intended to talk about it. This year, 45 percent planned to talk about broader Jewish participation, followed by forgiveness at 41 percent and the internal life/health of the synagogue at 37 percent.”
    Maybe if we stopped hearing about Israel so much and started being taught about ethical living as being a key component of Judaism… doh!
    Our Rabbi on RH was in the lst 37% and he really couldn’t make a decent case… Of course, after the Torah service when he was about to deliver his sermon, 30% of the congregation got up and left… After after the sermon ANOTHER 30% got up and left. Rather then launching right into Mussaf he WAITED 5 minutes for them to go, where if the flow of the service weren’t interrupted they might have stayed or at least trickled out. Then again, were a compelling and intellectually challenging sermon given, it probably would have also had an impact.
    Notice how the comment section of the JTA article is filled with Congregations desperate to counter the arguement? I say plot all the congregations, noting their denomination, on a 20 year trend chart and see what it really says about health of congregations.
    But I agree with the comment about Rebbeim getting out from the walls of the shuls. To often they wonder wy people aren’t flocking to them. The Rabbi is the spokesperson for a shul, so they need to go out into the community. One local young “outreach” rabbi at a large Conservative shul appealing to young adults confessed to me that he has no idea how blogs, myspace or facebook work… It shows how out of touch they tend to be.

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