"We can complain about the shrinking of the Conservative movement. And we can take pride in Conservative successes of the past. But if what we have been doing until now is not sufficient for the future, what can we change?
Here is one small suggestion: We can improve our training of rabbis by sending out our rabbinical students to visit great synagogues with great rabbis. Let the students see what can be accomplished in the pulpit (or elsewhere) by rabbis of vision and energy. Ever since I became a Talmud professor, the person in my mind whom I always try to emulate is the JTS professor, a master teacher, who drew me in to the study of Talmud. And ever since I started leading High Holy Day services, I keep in my head the rabbi who inspired me year after year with her High Holy Day services. So to help us realize our full potential, we need role models. If students can visit at least five excellent rabbis in the course of their training, chances are that they will find a mentor to inspire and guide them."
Continue reading "Changing Conservative Judaism" in Jewish Week.