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The "unaffiliated" is the largest growing Jewish denomination. In this editorial article, Reform Rabbi Rick Jacobs criticizes synagogues for not reaching out to them. Is he specifically referring to Reform synagogues, or all synagogues?

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closed as too localized by Yaakov Kuperman, Isaac Moses, Gershon Gold, HodofHod, Monica Cellio Sep 23 '12 at 2:48

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Is this question really about what's on this author's mind? – Isaac Moses Apr 1 '12 at 18:22
Not sure how relevant this is... sounds like it's really an opinion question about an opinion piece... – Yaakov Kuperman Apr 1 '12 at 21:53
vote to close - how is anyone other than the editorial article's author supposed to know what he meant by "synagogues"? – user1095 Apr 2 '12 at 9:20
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I don't know Rabbi Jacobs, but much of what he says and suggests is clearly inspired by an organization within the Reform movement and I would guess that he is aiming his address, initially, at other like minded Reform temples, urging them to follow the lead of an affiliated group. But his message is clearly meant to resonate with other Jews and their institutions. He is advocating a re-imagining across the sectarian board. The only reason I think that this advice is more focused on Reform synagogues is that

a) the decentralization of the communal identity from the synagogue runs counter to the more traditional idea of the synagogue as the mikdash -- the locus of communal worship, social life and study

b) groups which do specialize in the traveling kiruv (at the airport, in public areas, on college campuses) have often been chabad based, and chabad is not a reform organization. Same for JLIC.

c) I would be so bold as to guess that the majority of religious private schools in the Jewish community are Connservative or Orthodox (or more right wing) thus taking the religion out of the prayer/synagogue and putting it in the forefront in another milieu so as to attract families or individuals without tethering it to a house of worship, pushing for religion to be more pervasive and not compartmentalized in the realm of prayer.

So, in sum, I'd say that while the advice is somewhat useful for everyone, the writer is trying to galvanize a broader range of Reform temples to take on this task. IMHO, of course.

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