Reform Judaism and the Abandonment of Jewish Peoplehood

Aug. 27 2018

In a speech delivered last May at the graduation ceremony of Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles—one of the major seminaries of the Reform movement—Michael Chabon sparked controversy by condemning wholesale every kind of Jewish particularism, and perhaps Judaism itself. Clifford Librach, who spent his career as a pulpit rabbi in Reform synagogues, sees the speech as the culmination of a trend embedded in the domination from its very beginning that militates against the very notion of Jewish peoplehood. To survive and flourish, Librach believes, the Reform movement must instead wholeheartedly embrace Jewish peoplehood, as he explains in conversation with Jonathan Silver. (Audio, 45 minutes. Options for download and streaming are available at the link below.)

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Is There a Way Out of Israel’s Political Deadlock?

On Tuesday, leaders of the Jewish state’s largest political parties, Blue and White and Likud, met to negotiate the terms of a coalition agreement—and failed to come to an agreement. If none of the parties in the Knesset succeeds in forming a governing coalition, there will be a third election, with no guarantee that it will be more conclusive than those that preceded it. Identifying six moves by key politicians that have created the deadlock, Shmuel Rosner speculates as to whether they can be circumvented or undone:

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