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Questions about the Future of Judaism

On the website Femeniste, blogger Daisy Bond wants to know what’s in store for the future of Judaism. As she gets older, she explains, she is more aware of her “personal responsibility to ensure that Judaism survives, of the obligation and the privilege to decide for myself what that means and what it will look like.”

So she wanted to open the question up to her readers and find out what they thought. She started with the question “What do you want Judaism to be,” and then expounded with a series of more specific inquiries, such as:

Why are Judaism and Jewish culture important? Why is it important to preserve them? What are most critical issues for the Jewish community to address right now? Israel, intermarriage, declining synagogue attendance, something else entirely?

There are more – lots more. These are the right questions to ask, as we do day after day on our blog. She has put them all in one place, and we would like to bring the discussion to our readers. But we don’t want to focus on Jewish “survival.” Instead, we want to look at the motivation for being a part of the Jewish community. What is in Judaism that will continue to claim the attention of Jews or those interested in entering the orbit of the community? We ask because we want to know what people can do to promote the value and meaning of Judaism and create a community where everyone in our midst is welcome to explore and connect with their heritage.

The full list of Daisy’s questions can be found after the jump. We encourage you to visit the original post to see how others have responded.

I’m sure you’re all wondering what our answer would be. At JOI, we believe the future of the North American Jewish community will be determined by the warmth, wisdom and caring with which we welcome and engage intermarried families and unaffiliated Jews into our midst.

What do you think? We look forward to your comments.

  • What do you like about Judaism and Jewish culture? What do you dislike?
  • Why are Judaism and Jewish culture important? Why is it important to preserve them?
  • What is your relationship with Judaism as a religion? Do you feel connected to Judaism? To a temple community, to a minyan, to a study group? If not, would you like to be?
  • Are you affiliated with any of the movements? Which one, and why? If not, why not? What do you like and/or dislike about it?
  • How observant are you? How important is observance to you? How observant should others be? Are some kinds of observance more important than others?
  • What practices or ideas are most central to your Jewish identity? (i.e. eating bagels, loving books, celebrating the High Holidays, not celebrating Christian holidays, keeping kosher, fighting for justice, etc.)
  • Ideally, what will Judaism and Jewish culture look like in 10 years? In 25 years? In 100 years?
  • What are most critical issues for the Jewish community to address right now? Israel, intermarriage, declining synagogue attendance, something else entirely?
  • What are the key qualities for Judaism/Jewish culture to embody or functions for it to perform?


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