Liberal Judaism Is Dedicated to Identity Formation, Not a Religious Worldview

North American synagogues experience these two purposes not as mutually reinforcing but as incongruous—which is why they’re in trouble.

A rabbi from Boston’s Temple Israel searches for pine cones for Passover on March 29, 2017. Congregants of Boston’s largest Reform synagogue gather pine cones as a symbolic reminder of the need for penal reforms in the state. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images.

A rabbi from Boston’s Temple Israel searches for pine cones for Passover on March 29, 2017. Congregants of Boston’s largest Reform synagogue gather pine cones as a symbolic reminder of the need for penal reforms in the state. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images.

Response
Oct. 16 2020
About the author

John Moscowitz is rabbi emeritus at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, and the author of Evolution of an Unorthodox Rabbi (Dundurn Press, October 2015).


When it comes to understanding the sometimes fraught relationship between Jewish communities, American and Israeli, Orthodox and liberal, few possess the perspective of Daniel Gordis. All the more so when the matter at hand is so existentially loaded.

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

More about: American Judaism, Reform Judaism, Religion & Holidays