I had the pleasure of appearing on the Howie Silbiger Show on Radio Shalom this past Sunday night. Thanks to Howie for a great interview and a chance to discuss some of my favorite topics — the history of the liberal Jewish movements and the differences between them, what it means to be a non-denominational rabbi (“…but you have to believe in something, right?), how to change synagogues today to make them relevant in the 21st century, and the newly formed Jewish Women Clergy of Montreal.
Click here to hear the interview!
1:40 The interview starts
2:20 I talk about the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College and what it means to be a non-denominational rabbinical school
3:30 I give the on-one-foot history of the Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist movements
7:15 I explain what Reform and Reconstructionist congregations look like today
8:10 I explain how I can be a non-denominational rabbi, and how non-denominational does not mean having no beliefs, but rather that denominations themselves are somewhat arbitrary lines dividing groups of people, some of whom may have overlapping or similar beliefs and practices if you look closer (not to erase all differences between denominations, of course!)
10:50 Where I defend the Reform movement while also agreeing that I am much more traditional than Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom and the Reform movement in general.
12:28 My future role at Dorshei Emet and the kinds of programming I’ll be working on
13:51 How to engage Jews today, “fighting assimilation and apathy” as Howie put it
15:15 That in order to create a Judaism for the 21st century, we must rethink what synagogues are, how Jewish communities are constituted, and how to reach people
15:45 Employing relational community organizing to build Jewish community based on relationships, instead of just emailing out that an event is happening and hoping people show up
16:40 The difficulty and opportunities of fighting peoples Jewish baggage, especially in Montreal
18:15 Some of my new projects for the upcoming year, including Jewish childbirth education and Jewish meditation collective (stay tuned!)
19:10 The difficulty in convincing boards to invest in outreach to young people when it may not pay off financially for years down the road
19:45 Dorshei Emet’s fabulous membership committee and how they are doing it right, in reaching out and building connections, welcoming people in and making them feel wanted. How to make Jews feel appreciated and wanted in Jewish community.
20:45 Shaar Zion Congregation’s upcoming Tikkun Leil Shavuot
21:10 The Jewish Women Clergy of Montreal and our upcoming Tikkun Leil Shavuot, our membership, and our reason for forming