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.

October 16, 2020 | John Moscowitz
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).
This is a response to How America's Idealism Drained Its Jews of Their Resilience, originally published in Mosaic in October 2020

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.

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.

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