Let’s Start Streaming
The next iteration of my Monday night Seminarion begins next week. I’m calling it Gently Down the Streams. Over the next several weeks, we’ll look at each major stream in Jewish life and try to get behind what they stand for. I think there will be bits in the course that will surprise you.
Did you know, for instance, that Reform was the first Jewish denomination? It’s true. You might think the first denomination among our people was Orthodox. But the funny thing about that name is that it wasn’t necessary until the Reform movement came into existence in the early decades of the 19thcentury in Germany.
And speaking of Reform, did you know its origins lay with laypeople? The rabbis only got on board after several temples were opened by laypeople and the ideas that informed the new movement took hold.
Did you know that the Conservative movement, at least its beta version, was begun by a Reform rabbi in the mid-19th century? Zecharias Frankel stormed out of a rabbinic meeting, seething over a resolution just passed by the group supporting more prayer in the vernacular, which their case was German.
Did you know that Conservative Judaism didn’t really take its current ideological form until Solomon Schacter took over as chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary (where one went to become a Conservative rabbi).
Or that Yeshiva University in Washington Heights, NYC is the great symbol of Modern Orthodoxy in America?
Or that the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College is right up the street from where I once lived in Wyncote, PA?
Well, this is just the teaser. In these weeks, we’ll see what, philosophically, defines each movement, have a look at what they are today, and what Judaism might look like in the not-too-distant future.
So come have a look. I’d love to have you.
Mondays at 7:30 pm ~ https://us02web.zoom.us/j/