Friday, November 10, 2006

I don't get it: Post-Denominational

Post-Denominational really doesn’t make much sense to me. How is one not affiliated with the ideals and principles of the group with whom one chooses to affiliate?

To say you are in a Post-fill-in-the-adverb-here would mean you are no longer in a world where said description is applicable. It could be fair to say that these so-called Post-Denominational folks are do not affiliate with a particular Movement of the recognized Jewish community. Yet shockingly these folk tend to be of the Upwardly Mobile Urban Jews, not the Jews in smaller communities, where the Denominations tend to provide help and support.

We are not close to the end of the Movements or the Denominations, we are in a period of flux and change. Yet if the folks who identify as Post-Present continue to create only for their own Jewish community, we all will lose the ability to provide for the future of the Jewish people living outside of Brooklyn or the Upper Westside.

There was a study done that has shown a steady decrease in Jewish population from the Mid-West. (It is second hand info, if I find it I will quote it.) Southern Jewish life is hurting REALLY badly. The Institute for Southern Jewish Life has been working for years to preserve the Jewish traditions of the South. Where once vibrant Jewish communities stood, there are now empty synagogues and institutions. Why do I bring this up? Simply because the major institutions and denominations continue to work to insure the history and tradition while the post-denominationalist are busy with themselves.

The reality of any movement is that it is made up of parts and conflicting little differences. (Here is the rub) No Movement or Idea or Denomination is unitary. Yet the Post-Denominationalist leaving their respective Denominations is creating dearth of their particular point of view. They are not changing institutions that are created to serve the infrastructure of the Jewish community; they are fragmenting it and taking away from its intellectual base.

I invite you to change whatever it is you do not like. But you are welcome to come back when your kids need Religious School with no hard feelings.

Update: This post has made a few people mad. Please read Shabbat Ideas - November 17, 2006 to see my response to these folks.

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