16 May 2011

"Love Judaism Like Chabad"

Arnold Eisen, a leader for Conservative Judaism, mentioned Chabad as an example for students at his seminary. He is the seventh chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), the academic and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism.

In an interview with Changing Jewish Communities, a monthly publication of Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, he mentions Chabad as a positive example to rejuvenate his movement.

"As far as outreach is concerned, I tell rabbinical students at JTS that if they cannot exhibit the same love for the Jewish people and Judaism as Chabad rabbis, then they have chosen the wrong profession," Aisen said.

"The Conservative movement is strong on academics; we have many PhDs who can speak with all the required footnotes. We are, however, not good at conveying passion in our services," he added.

Aisen's remarks echo those of Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, who told a convention in Minneapolis Reform Jews had a lot to learn from Chabad's example.

"It is hard for me to say this but I will say it nonetheless: We must follow the example of Chabad," Yoffie said.

"I disagree with Chabad about practically everything and I am appalled by the messianic fervor that has flared up in their midst. But I envy the selflessness of their young men and women who fan out across the world to serve Jewish communities in distress."

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