Monday, March 9, 2015

Interesting: Why Reform and Conservative Judaism Don't Really Flourish in Israel

Some good points in this essay, but I would say this is the main thing: 

"The synagogue model of Jewish life is an excellent idea that works well in the Diaspora, where the society around you is secular and multicultural. In effect, the synagogue becomes the nucleus of the community and thus of all Jewish life. This model, however, is irrelevant to Israeli life. “As far as Israeli society goes, the pre-modern kehilah has already been reconstituted and restructured as a nation-state,” Mirsky continued."

The whole country is, ostensibly, a community center.”


Also, I think that Israelis are not generally inclined to classifications of their religiosity. It's more buffet style than anywhere else in the Jewish world. Israelis are less rigid about the lines dividing communities and don't want or need others to define their spirituality. Most Israeli Jewish women light candles on Friday night. Does that make them Orthodox? No. Most Israeli Jews have a Seder on Passover and abstain from eating leavened products. Orthodox? Conservative? Who cares?