June 2011, New York Reform Judaism magazine, under the auspices of the Union for Reform Judaism, is engaging Jews of all ages and walks of life in participating in the Reform Judaism Think Tank, an initiative of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, to address the major challenges facing Judaism in North America.
Reform Judaism magazine has opened the Think Tanks discussion up to the public by creating an online forum to discuss what each person believes it will take to strengthen the future of North American Judaism. Twelve questions derived from the Summer 2011 Cover Story (see below) are eliciting varying and thought-provoking responses from all over North America, which will be shared with the Reform leadership, Think Tank members, and the Movement. All of the ideas can be viewed online in real-time.
A woman from New York answered a question about how to get young people involved in congregational life: There needs to be a plan for these young people that recaptures them immediately after college. Make occasions where the leaders of industry, banking, thought and spiritual life members of the same synagogue meet with college graduates.
A high school student from California answered the question What do we stand for that resonates today and will endure? with this response: I believe that the ideal we push forward could be acceptance and tolerance of all other Jews, and all other humans alike. This sort of extreme coexistence is necessary to further the societies of the world, and if we can allow our descendants to embody it, we will have done our part for our society. Read more responses here.
Reform Judaism magazines Summer 2011 Cover Story, Reforming Judaism, offersa behind-the-scenes look at how the Reform Movement has evolved in response to the changing needs of the Jewish people and how the Movement might approach the challenges ahead. The six articles within the Cover Story, linked below, provide excellent background material for understanding the past and answering the questions in the Reform Judaism Think Tank project.
For more source material, please utilize the newly redesigned Reform Judaism website, which offers instant access to nearly 15 years of the magazines back issue content, organized by eight topics: Strengthening Synagogues, Jewish Living, Travel/World Reports, God & Spirituality, Holidays, Israel, Cooking, and College &Youth.