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tamar

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PostSubject: Interacting with other movements   Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:20 pm

I have a question about interaction with other movements. Since I have been unaffiliated until this year I have spent time attending services in the different movements within Judaism. I have friends who go to different shuls then I do. I still do not refer to my self as a Reform Jew. I am just someone who is Jewish. I have always hated labels.

When I first became interested in Judaism I had no real friends who were Jewish, now most of my friends are Jewish. My Rabbi said the most important thing was to make friends and not just within my community but across the spectrum that is Judaism.

What has been the experience of others. Have you been encouraged to learn about other movements? To make friends who are different?

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usuario



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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:17 pm

In theory, a Jew is a Jew is a Jew, there are no such things as Reform Jews, Conservative Jews, and Orthodox Jews, we are all in the same boat, we are all Bnei Yisrael. In many Jewish events, you'll see Jews from all over the spectrum, and many people will be at a Reform temple one Shabbat and at a Chabad House the next. My converting rabbi, who is Reform, never discouraged me from participating in other denominations, in fact I think it is part of Reform's doctrine of "personal autonomy" that in fact encourages people to explore all aspects of Judaism. I think it helps one become more open-minded by seeing people from all walks of Jewish life and making friends with them.
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:35 pm

Our Jewish community seems to encourage mixing. We're a small community, with only one Orthodox, one Conservative and two Reform shuls, plus the Community Center and I think there's a Chabad at the university. I knew several people at my Reform shul who also went to the Conservative shul sometimes. The Orthodox rabbi sometimes goes to services at one of the Reform shuls. I belong to a Haverah group that meets with a university rabbi (I think he's Conservative, but it's never come up) about once a month and everyone there is mixed--Reform and Conservative and Orthodox, and JBB and JBC.

I am a firm believer that everyone should understand the other movements. You don't have to agree, certainly, but you should at least know how you and they differ.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:35 pm

tamar wrote:
I Have you been encouraged to learn about other movements? To make friends who are different?

Nope.
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:56 pm

As far as I'm concerned, there are only 2 types of Jews.

Those that are growing, and those that are not.
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:59 pm

Thanks for the responses! When I go to visit my family I go to the small shul there and it is unaffiliated. They have 2 shelves with Sim Shalom on one side and The Gates of Prayer on the other side. They alternate services each week between the Reform and Conservative.

Where I am there are several Reform and Conservative shuls, Chabad and the Universities have Hillel. There is only 1 Orthodox listed.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:07 pm

I've never had anyone encourage me to mix and mingle with other people. On my own, I suppose I do to an extent but I have no interaction with Orthodoxy.

I actually don't have many Jewish friends though I wish I did. It seems that most of the regular attendees at my shul are at least 50 if not older and I'm not yet 30. There are "Young Professional" groups around here but do I really fit in there? I am not a professional, I do not work and have not worked in 5 years.

It's not really a Jewish issue. I have never known how to make friends. My friends are the same people I met in kindergarten - 9th grade or some of my husband's friends he's made through various activities. That is how I met my only Orthodox friend. My husband actually has more Jewish friends than I do! I didn't even make friends in college. Of course, I didn't live on campus but other people still managed to make friends. I was not at all interested in socializing.

I just read today that our JCC is having a Mini-Melton class in February for people under 45. I think I might go. It's only $36 and there will be people there a little closer to my age.
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searchinmyroots

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:50 pm

"I just read today that our JCC is having a Mini-Melton class in February for people under 45. I think I might go. It's only $36 and there will be people there a little closer to my age."

I think that is a great idea.

You never know who you'll meet until you try!
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LineyLu

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:07 am

Dena wrote:

It's not really a Jewish issue. I have never known how to make friends. My friends are the same people I met in kindergarten - 9th grade or some of my husband's friends he's made through various activities. .

Same here!!! I'm an introvert, and while I can carry on a great discussion after getting to know someone, I'm absolutely TERRIBLE at small talk, remembering names, and initiating a conversation. Current circumstances prevent me from joining a Jewish community right now, but it's a concern that I have for the future. But I know it will be worth it in the end, even though I know that I'll need to put forth quite a bit of effort -- the people I met at the Shabbat service and the Passover Seder I did manage to attend were extremely welcoming. Best of luck at the Mini-Melton class!
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mikedoyleblogger

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:43 pm

I identify primarily Reform, but my traditionalism makes me feel comfortable exploring other streams of Judaism, too. In Chicago, we have a great, inter-denominational "tentless" community called Mishkan, which meets for worship every couple of weeks and mixes instruments and song with a Conservative liturgy. It's pretty uplifting, even if I get lost in the silent davenning.

I used to get on my high horse a lot about Reform v. Orthodox issues. Now it annoys me when I see Reform leaders bashing Orthodoxy--to me it seems like they're doing the same thing they're complaining about. Last month, the president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (Rabbi Stephen Fuchs) spoke at my synagogue and did a fair amount of Ortho-bashing. I was disgusted enough to write a blog post about it. ("Progressive Judaism Versus the World".) Today, he commented on the post(!)

My two cents: sometimes our denominational leaders needlessly put up barriers that make it harder to love each other.
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James

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:53 pm

For what it's worth, I agree with you.

I think I'm kinda spoiled though, here in my small city with our tiny Jewish population. We hardly have enough people to keep a single synagogue going, let alone one for each stream. While we identity as a conservative congregation, we are officially unaffiliated.

But it's nice; nobody worries about being reform, conservative, or orthodox. We're just Jews, and while we may have varying levels of observance and differing opinions on just about everything (who'd a thunk it??), we come together to worship and support our community.

And I'd love nothing more than to see that across the globe.


Last edited by James on Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)
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mrenziboi



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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:38 am

I have friends in all movements from re constructionist, reformed,conservative, and Orthodo. All are Jews and just do things in different ways :-)
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mikedoyleblogger

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Wed Aug 22, 2012 6:45 pm

So I'll update my answer here after having thought about it over the past couple of months. I guess the thing for me is that my Reform shul just doesn't offer education programs or resources aimed at increasing Jewish knowledge, observance, or participation for adults. If you're past bar/bat mitzvah training, or are an adult convert, everything aimed at you at my shul is social in nature. The only specifically religious events are our non HHD holiday services and activities that are all (seriously, all) aimed at families with young children.

Meaning, if I want to develop my Jewish identity beyond the oneg table, my only choice is to seek out participation elsewhere. As the HHDs get closer, I'm thinking that a bit of my teshuvah I owe to myself, because I've been holding back in this vein a lot for fear of upsetting fellow congregants, some of whom don't feel comfortable with my traditional observance or desire for adult learning. So I think it's time I much more fearlessly reach out to Conservative and MO friends and rabbis to, frankly, find what I'm missing.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:12 pm

mikedoyleblogger wrote:
As the HHDs get closer, I'm thinking that a bit of my teshuvah I owe to myself, because I've been holding back in this vein a lot for fear of upsetting fellow congregants, some of whom don't feel comfortable with my traditional observance or desire for adult learning.


Why do you think they have an issue with adult learning? That just seems so silly. It isn't wrong to want to learn.
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mikedoyleblogger

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:42 pm

It's just not on our congregational radar screen as a congregation, so to speak. There's no support for it. As an individual, go for it. But our shul offers nothing and doesn't really see anything wrong with that. It's as if, once you're an adult, we can stop pretending that Judaism as more than a social pursuit really matters. It's kind of sad.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:50 pm

Do you think there may be others who want to learn but are afraid to ask about starting a program for adults?
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: Interacting with other movements   Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:18 pm

mikedoyleblogger wrote:
So I'll update my answer here after having thought about it over the past couple of months. I guess the thing for me is that my Reform shul just doesn't offer education programs or resources aimed at increasing Jewish knowledge, observance, or participation for adults. If you're past bar/bat mitzvah training, or are an adult convert, everything aimed at you at my shul is social in nature. The only specifically religious events are our non HHD holiday services and activities that are all (seriously, all) aimed at families with young children.

Meaning, if I want to develop my Jewish identity beyond the oneg table, my only choice is to seek out participation elsewhere. As the HHDs get closer, I'm thinking that a bit of my teshuvah I owe to myself, because I've been holding back in this vein a lot for fear of upsetting fellow congregants, some of whom don't feel comfortable with my traditional observance or desire for adult learning. So I think it's time I much more fearlessly reach out to Conservative and MO friends and rabbis to, frankly, find what I'm missing.

I don't understand why they don't have the avenues of learning. I do think that communities that have more in the way of learning have Rabbis who think it is important. I could be wrong but I am just going by my community.

I am part of a Reform shul that has a new Rabbi who thinks continued learning is so important for all the members that the Hebrew school was changed in a big way and the adult learning classes became more dynamic and now we have more choices.

The Torah class that meets Saturday mornings before services is always crowded and this month we have a weekly class on the views on after life. There is modern, biblical and prayer Hebrew. They change the classes every couple of months and offer more choices. I am about to start in a group to learn how to lead services.

We all have joined and have logs that allow us to keep track of the classes we take and they recognized a few of the adult learners who had logged 25 hours or more of adult learning classes in a service geared to recognizing the adult learners in the community.

But I think it does come up in come circles and someone asked the question tonight that as Reform Jews why do we really need to bother learning about traditional Judaism.

The Rabbi who was leading this class said that the continued learning and Jewish growth is central to Judaism and that we should always strive to learn about out tradition. We need to understand the traditions of Judaism from the Orthodox to the non Orthodox.

I hope you find a community where you can continue to grow. I know as a JBC the continued learning is really important to me and my Jewish identity.

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