Today we stand at a crossroads for the future of Conservative Judaism as the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) released a draft of a strategic plan* to re-envision their organization. Some of the ideas and direction of the draft led many of us to question the lack of emphasis and cuts directed towards on what I believe are the most critical institutions of the Conservative Movement, namely college campus programming and the Conservative Yeshiva and Fuchsberg Center for conservative Judaism in the heart of Jerusalem. I and others were moved to respond a present our vision for the future, first by commenting on a blog (mine is the 6th down). Later, committed Conservative Jewish leaders on campus, including some of my closest friends, founded the Mahar Coalition in order to give a voice to students to ensure the continuity of Conservative programming on college campuses and a place for our generation in the conversation.
"They may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..."- 'Imagine,' The Beatles
Rabbi Menachem Creditor invited us to share our visions in a special ShefaJournal. I hope that you will read my article on p. 25 and, those of the many other committed writers with which I am proud to share the journal. (Please note that the view in my article are my own and not necessarily those of the Mahar Coalition).
*The original draft of the USCJ plan, released on February 3, can be read here
The revised version released on March 10, 2011 can be read here. The changes made in section 4 are particularly noteworthy, as is the inclusion of Toronto in section 4.1 after its absence in the first draft.