Showing Up

by Avis Dimond Miller

From Moment, October 1997
Reprinted With Permission

It's been said that 90 percent of life is just showing up.

Synagogue Transformation Revisited and some thoughts on "k'dushah"

Richard A. Marker

December 2002

Three years ago, I penned an article for Sh'ma calling for the transformation of the synagogue as we have known it in post-War [WWII, that is] America. The article posited the impossibility of any one synagogue effectively delivering service in all of the areas it arrogates to itself. By attempting to do so, I argued, mediocrity is virtually guaranteed.

The Personnel Crisis in Jewish Life: A contrarian perspective and new approaches

Richard A. Marker

February 2003


Several years ago, shortly after moving to New York, I was invited to serve on the young leadership boards of 2 different national Jewish organizations. I was both surprised and flattered. After all, by that time I had been active in the Jewish community for over 30 years, having held numerous significant lay and professional leadership roles. So it was surprising to be asked -to represent "new" leadership - although it was confirming to be seen as a part of the future more than the past.

My Temple, My Sanctuary

by Jill Menkes Kushner

From Reform Judaism, Winter 1995
Reprinted With Permission

Temple has become a place to ask questions about God; to think; to wonder; to explore feelings that seem out of place in the everyday world.

What I Learned from My Heart Attack

Stephen A. Karol

From CCAR Journal: A Reform Jewish Quarterly, Winter 1997
Reprinted with Permission

Ethnicity, Geography and Jewish Community

by Sherry Israel

From The Reconstructionist, Spring 1995
Reprinted with permission.

In any discussion of community and contemporary American Jewry, it is essential that we pay attention to the wide context in which we live. Too often, we seem to forget that the complex realities of Jewish life today did not arise in a vacuum, that we are profoundly influenced by the currents of modern American culture.

Generation Four: Spirituality Seekers

The search for spirituality transcends the empowerment of women and Jews by choice, of course. It is inextricably linked to larger demographic changes that began to be felt in the 1960s when the first phalanx of baby-boomers came of age. Those same men and women are now in their forties, and are but one of three cohorts who stand out as altogether novel.

Generation Three: Suburbs and Survival

By 1950, American Jews had settled down into two competing visions of what Judaism ought to be. Intermarriage between Germans and Russians veiled the divide to some extent, as did the very vastness of the eastern European numbers which overflowed into the German temples, despite their organ music, strange decorum, and other trappings of a liturgy laundered of its traditionalism. But Jews had to join some ``place of worship'' after all, as Eisenhower himself made clear, in a decade that was to rival even the 1830s in its reclamation of religion as a grand American spiritual pastime.

Generation One: The Founders

It helps to have some dates in mind, but dates are arbitrary. Dating by decades is at least convenient, however, starting with our own and looking backward. Also helpful is the Bible's generational calculus. There too we find ``generations,'' the generation of the flood, as the Rabbis put it, or the generation of the dispersion, meaning those who lived at history's putative beginning, touched forever after by their failure to erect a Tower of Babel. Assume that both are myths; there never was a Noah (though there may have been a flood), and there is no Tower of Babel.

From Ethnic to Spiritual: A Tale of Four Generations

by Dr. Lawrence A. Hoffman

From the Synagogue 2000 Library

Our long-term goal is the spiritualization of the North American synagogue. Whatever kind of congregation we attend, whatever our movement or ideological allegiance, we all have this in common: we are on a Jewish quest for a better tomorrow, and to judge by all the evidence, we are a generation in search of the spiritual.