Tuesday, April 10, 2012

BJPA Reader's Guide: Conservative Judaism

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Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner
Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner
April 2012
Dear Friends,JTSA


Continuing the series on North American Jewish denominations which we began in February with the Reform Movement, this month's Reader's Guide presents publications on Conservative/Masorti Judaism. This Guide brings into sharp focus the many contemporary challenges to the Conservative movement, as well as illuminating its many points of strength. Indeed, the Conservative movement constitutes a massive enterprise in Jewish collective endeavor. Today's Conservative movement embraces a complex and diversified institutional system of kehillot, camps, institutions of higher learning, youth groups, day schools, supplementary schools, pre-schools, publications, mens' and women' organizations, clergy and professional associations, Israel-based institutions, and a string of independent endeavors that may be seen as "neo-Conservative."
Over the years, both the Reform and Conservative movements have experienced declines in the number of affiliated Jews. At the same time, both have managed to create sizable and vibrant elites, in part through powerful high-quality Jewish summer camping -- Camp Ramah in the case of the Conservative movement and Reform's URJ camps. Both movements have undertaken significant changes in the leadership and strategic directions of their congregational bodies (USCJ and URJ). And both are operating in an American environment which has proven less hospitable to religious denominations and fixed identities of all sorts.
In many ways, the future of the Conservative movement (and its denominational counterparts) will heavily influence the future of Judaism in North America. This Guide offers an opening to further exploring and understanding Conservative Judaism today.

Here is a small sample of the publications featured in the full BJPA Reader's Guide to Conservative Judaism:


Beliefs, Values, & Ideology 


Halakha & Observance 


Organizations & Institutions 


Future, Continuity, & Demographics 


Gender & Orientation 

Click here to download the entire Guide.

With best wishes, and mo'ed tov, 



Prof. Steven M. Cohen

Director, Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner

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Chosen for What? Jewish Values in 2012: Findings from the 2012 Jewish Values Survey. Robert P. Jones, Daniel Cox, PRRI, 2012

The Challenge of Peoplehood: Strengthening the Attachment of Young American Jews to Israel in the Time of the Distancing Discourse. Shmuel Rosner, Inbal Hakman, JPPI, 2012.

Britain's Jewish Community Statistics 2010. Daniel Vulkan, BOD, 2012

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From First Fruits to Abundant Harvest: Maximizing the Potential of Innovative Jewish Start-Ups. Bikkurim, Wellspring Consulting, 2012  


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This week, from the J-Vault:The Immigrant Publication Society (1915)

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BJPA is funded by the Mandell L. and Madeleine H. Berman Foundation and the Charles H. Revson Foundation.