Monday, March 28, 2011

Are Synagogues Still Relevant?

The Huffington Post has an editorial asking that question by a Rabbi Sid Schwartz.

Bad news for conservative judaism:

>> The USCJ press release was accompanied by data showing that the movement has lost 14 percent of its affiliated families since 2001, and twice that percentage in the northeast region.

Here is really where the jews should kick themselves in the asses. The article says

>> Jewish funders are more eager to fund alternatives to synagogues than innovations within synagogues. Benefitting from this trend are independent minyanim, outreach programs to non-traditional populations (e.g. 20-somethings, GLBTs, interfaith families, etc.)

It's suprising that 20 somethings is considered a non-traditional population for jewish outreach. Morons. Whoever was in charge of jewish outreach all these years should do japanese ritual suicide. The thing in jewish society is that adherence is considered a given and it's like the religion owns people and if it is falling apart it's because of "apathy" and not because jewish outreach is "failing" with noone working for them getting "fired." The Jewish religion don't own anyone. Maybe in 1811 or 1711 or 1611, but not in 2011. If the Jewish leadership continues to fail to realize this then they are going to continue to see their retention rates diminish while they freeload off of the jewish orgs without providing results.


Garnel Ironheart said...

The problem with Reform and Conservatism is that, like most mainstream Chrisian groups, their religion occurs entirely within their house of worship. You're a good Canadian on the street 6.5 days of the week and one morning on the weekend you're a good Jew. So when the synagogue loses its attraction, the person's entire tie to Judaism disappears.

SJ said...

I used to be a conservative jew. I stopped going there when people my age stopped going.

Dave the Devious said...

@ Garnel: That is pretty much the case for the overwhelming majority of Americans. A small minority is overtly atheist/nonreligious/secular, a more significant minority is piously religious, most Americans (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish...) are "semi-religious."

@ SJ: You were a Conservative Jew? Since when? I got the impression that you had a yeshivish/ultra-othodox upbringing.

SJ said...

I was involved in conservative judaism before I was involved in orthodox judaism.

Dave the Devious said...

So what? Were your parents hardcore baalei teshuva or something?