Thursday, January 11, 2007

Survey on Conservative Movement by JTS

I have learned today from Yid with Lid from his post today that The Jewish Week had an article regarding the Survey JTS sent out via email to find out what people thought about the recent decision the Conservative movement made allowing open Gays and Lesbians to be part of the Conservative Rabbinate. Yid with Lid posted here his opinion on the survey and I added two comments which one of them The Jewish Week quoted. In the article here they quote me as saying the following ,
"Another blogger called Frum with Questions, said he too completed the survey and found the questions straightforward,but he said he did not understand what they are trying to accomplish."
Yid with Lid asked me to explain further what I meant so I replied with the following ,
"The survey was done for JTS to have an excuse as to why they are going to start ordaining openly gay and lesbian students. They know the majority of the people of the conservative movement want this too happen they just need a survey so they can tell the people who are against it, see, this is what the conservative movement wants. Its unfortunate because this survey was only sent to a specific target market and if you would ask Canadians or Israelis you would get a much different answer since they are very traditional conservative when it comes to these issues. I cannot list specifics about the survey since I no longer have it infront of me but the questions were all black and white and they tried to fool people by thinking it is not.
I am going to assume that the article was written after this comment was added so I want to post it hear in case people check out my blog after reading the article. With that said I want to link to my previous post here with my opinions on the Conservatives movement original decision.

Independent Frum Thinker commented on this post saying that the Canadian Rabbis were not going to go by this decision which is true. The Rabbi of the Conservative Shul I grew up in is from Canada and is on thcommitteemmitee of the Conservative movement and voted against it. What doesn't make sense which is what I posted about is that more than one "Teshuva" was selected.

The question that I have about the survey which I did not see anyone ask, is who did they send this email to? My father who is an active member in a Conservative Shul as well as on the JTS Dvar Torah email list never got the email. I forwarded it to him so he can see it. If ou go to the main JTS webpage the only thing you see is this letter from the cuchancellorncelor. If you do a search for survey, nothing comes up either so who did JTS send this survey to and what was the point? I am not sure how I got it. I am on the USY adlistservtservthat's thats about it. I studied at List College- JTS/Columbia for a year and a half so maybe they sent it to me as a former student? I have no idea but I had no problem filling it out. If JTS wanted to ganswerasnwer from their constituents they could have figured out a way to get the survey to every member of a Conservative Shul and every Ramah camper/alumni/staff member. My wife went to Ramah and did not get a survey emailed to her as well as other USY alumni I am friends with.

I truly believe that the Conservative movement has become a political movement. If someone wants to disagree with me, I dare you to go into a Conservative shul and find a Republican or a Conservative. If you are lucky you will find one or two and probably in a Tradition Conservative minyan not one of Egalitarian Liberal ones. The Reform movement is also a political movement that when it feels will support Israel as evidence by the article in the Forward about the reform movements decision to go against Jimmy Carter.

One the main reasons why I am not a Conservative Jew is because of the hypocrisy with what they teach and how they act. After being active in USY and going on their programs and being a board member all of these things became obvious. USY had shabbos but when you went home the Conservative Shul did not. In USY on Shabbos you had Shalosh Shuedos, when you went home try finding one person in a Conservative shul who knows what Shalosh Shuedos is besides the Rabbi who will tell you itnecessaryassary even though they teach in USY that it is. When I was at JTS in the dorms they had different kitchens set up in the dorms. Kitchens for people who wanted to keep kosher and then eveelse's elses kitchens. When I asked the Rabbi who in charge of Jewish Life at the Seminary about this, he could not give me an answer. If JTS wanted to be honest with themselves they should go back to their roots in the Torah as Chancellor Shorsh said in his farewell speech. I just want to add one more thing about the movement and their decisions. OF the Rabbis of the Teshuva against it, most of them were educated in Orthodox institutions or by Rabbi Shaul Lieberman who in many eyes was Orthodox himself. The Rabbis who were for it were mostly products of the Conservative movement and institutionsutions which is evident from their failure to bring in real Torah sources to back up there claims which is why the Conservative Movement is no longer a Halachic movement but a movement of politics and opinion which is more important than true Torah valIts. ITs a question as well if it was ever a Halachic movement within the past 20 years but every year the fall further and further away.

Anyone who wants to comment directly to me can leave me their addressadress in the comments and we can to discuss this further.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Being similar to you, growing up in a Conservative congregation, I too got tired of the hypocrisy. It's like a Nintendo or Sega game where one is not allowed to get past Level 1. I have been officially out of the movement for 13 years but I probably left it long before that, simply when I wanted to learn more. The leadership simply do not support people learning.

FrumWithQuestions said...

Anonymous- I left the movement after I transfered out of JTS. That was at least 7 years. I high school I went to both NCSY and USY and the only difference between the two at the time was the separate seating during davening and the Saturday night program. Now on a USY shabbaton, you do not have to be within walking distance of the shul and mixed housing is permitted. They do allow you to learn more you are just limited because there is no one to teach you and you need to look elsewhere which is usually the orthodox.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post.

(Perhaps you wouldn't mind linking my blog up on your blog-roll. Thanks.)

FrumWithQuestions said...

IFT- The next time I update my blogroll I will put you on. I have only updated it twice since it is time consuming and confusing for me to do and I don't want to mess it up.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Congrats cool!

Anonymous said...

Hey Frum. I got your comment. Email me (instead of posting so I can reply)and tell me who you think I am and I will confirm
yidwith@aol.com

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I looked in the paper and could not find the article.

Anonymous said...

I dare you to go into a Conservative shul and find a Republican or a Conservative

It is not hard. In 38 years of involvement I have encountered many Republicans.

FrumWithQuestions said...

Jack- I guess its different outside of New York. I do know that when the reform movements political action comittee came out supporting Kerry, angry members of the Reform movement put counter ads in all the Jewish Papers saying they don't agree with the reform movement with what they did. Mark Levin on WABC considers himself a reform Jew. They do exist but i find that the two together don't mix

Sheyna Galyan said...

There are indeed Conservative synagogues that balance halacha, traditional values, and women's involvement. I won't say they're common, but they do exist. I know from experience.

It is unfortunate when all Conservative shuls get painted with the same brush. There are many, to be sure, that can be called "liberal" and fit the description you've offered. But there are others who don't, and it does everyone a disservice to ignore or deny that.

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