Orthodoxy Has Chance to Reshape Role

December 8, 2005 

A window has opened to the Orthodox community. We are being invited to help reshape the social dynamics of the American Jewish community. With courage and vision, we need to act on this opportunity by understanding the important changes that have occurred over the last decades and rethinking the way we engage the broader Jewish community.

The Mikvah as Spiritual Therapy

by Elyse Goldstein

From CCAR Journal: A Reform Jewish Quarterly, Winter/Spring 1995
Reprinted with permission

In recent years the popularity and appeal of traditional ritual in our movement have grown dramatically. On such ritual, which continues to gain acceptance and is being increasingly encouraged, is the use of the mikvah for Jews by choice, both male and female. While in 1893 the CCAR declared tevila unnecessary for conversion, the new Rabbi's manual states,

The Power of a Prayer Shawl: Exploring Jewish Ritual Objects

by Yael Shuman

Illustration by Nancy Winternight

From Reconstructionism Today, Summer, 1994
Reprinted with Permission.

Observations of a Rabbi Who Never Became a Bar Mitzvah

By Jack Stern

From Reform Judaism, Winter 1997

Reprinted with permission from the author and Reform Judaism Magazine --- Published by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations

Many years ago I was working with one of my bar mitzvah students, who was totally negligent in his preparations. Exasperated, his mother finally turned to the boy and said: ``I'm sure that Rabbi Stern studied hard for his bar mitzvah, and that's what you should be doing!''