by Tzvee of Tzvee’s Talmudic Blog
We received a new book as a gift: Empowered Judaism by Rabbi Elie Kaunfer with a foreword by Jonathan Sarna.
The book is an olio of materials about alternative minyanim, their practices and communities. It shows both how much has been accomplished in the “building vibrant” new synagogues and also leaves it clear that this is just the beginning of the current generation’s reinvention of Judaism.
Will this crop of young and energetic entrepreneurs build lasting Jewish ventures? The Jewish spiritual world is a tough marketplace to compete in even though there is no substantive competition. The American Jewish pie is small and shrinking and a growing number of professionals are staking their claims. Institutionalized religious agencies are not about to roll over and let what they see as the flavor of the month march in and eat their lunch.
The difference this time around first will be books like this one that create a sense of shared community across many communities. And of course the subversive-constructive ease of sharing audio, video and written materials on the web is the other factor whose full impact is as yet not known.
The original text of the article may be found here.