Conservative Judaism: Halakhah, Culture, and Sociology

Years of Activity: 2008

Research Status:

Not Active

Ari Ackerman, Hanan Alexander, Ya’acov Ariel, Debby Babis, Hanoch Ben Pazi, Kobi Cohen-Hattab, Yakir Englander, Adam Ferziger, Rachel Gordin, Aviad Hacohen, Michal Moszkat-Barkan, Ariel Picard, Uzi Rebhun, Avraham Slater, Ilana Sztokman

The Conservative Movement – one of the three large movements in the Jewish world – is at one of its most decisive junctures. The tension within it reflects the cultural transition of Jewish thought to twenty-first century discourse. The dispute that is dividing the movement is related primarily, though not exclusively, to the struggles over the status of women in the movement, ordaining of homosexual and lesbian rabbis, and officiation at marriages of gay and lesbian couples. 

The research group on Conservative Judaism conducted a groundbreaking study – mapping the state of the movement today and sketching its outlines – to understand its difficulties in reaching a decision in cultural, halakhic, educational, and gender contexts, its social difficulties, and its connection to the state of Israel and the Diaspora. Such an up-to-date picture had been lacking and therefore the group’s work was an important cultural and scholarly contribution. The group’s findings were presented along with other important studies at an international conference, Conservative Judaism, Halakhah, Culture, and Sociology.
The conference proceedings are to be published shortly.