Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Leadership Crisis in Conservative Movement

NEW YORK (JTA) -- A second group of Conservative Jewish leaders has issued a series of demands of the movement's synagogue association.

About a dozen presidents of Conservative synagogues have hinted they will leave the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism unless serious changes are made to the organization within 90 days, the Forward reported Monday. Organizers say they eventually hope to garner between 25 and 50 signatures.

(See the Forward article here: Threatening Rebellion, Shuls Demand Conservative Movement Reforms)

The news comes less than a week after a similar letter, signed by a group of Conservative clergy and lay leaders organized under the banner of HaYom, demanded a meeting with the United Synagogue president, Raymond Goldstein. Goldstein told JTA a meeting was in the works.
The synagogue presidents echoed the complaints of the HaYom group, saying the United Synagogue is not sufficiently open and transparent. They also requested that United Synagogue publish its recent budgets and the contract of its current executive vice president, hold a series of open discussions for congregations and shrink its governing boards.

The USCJ last week tapped Rabbi Steven Wernick to be it's new executive director. Read a Jewish Week profile: Wernick Promises Sweeping Change For United Synagogue.

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