January 24, 2006

by Andrew Silow-Carroll
LimmudNY wrap-up

LimmudNY was a weird combination of Elderhostel and Phish concert.

I cover the highlights, including the following:

At a panel on the future of Conservative Judaism, Rabbi Gordon Tucker of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, N.Y. — who is on everyone’s short list to be the next chancellor of the movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary — said it is “inevitable” that the seminary will ordain gay rabbis. Tucker’s remarks acknowledged that the subject is not only one of justice for gays but an issue that will force a historic definition of the Conservative approach to Halacha, or rabbinic law. If the panelists agreed on anything, it was that the movement has done a poor job in providing “theological clarity” and explaining how Conservative rabbis can sanction change within an approach to Halacha that “takes into account all the developing narrative and ethos of a tradition.”

Tucker also dropped another bombshell: The Conservative push for day school education at the expense of synagogue supplementary schools was a “massive rhetorical failure” that destroyed the religious school field for “decades to come.”

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