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Finding the Chosen People in Haiti
Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Senior Fellow at Clal: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
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Sid Schwarz argues that providing Jews with experiences of the “why” of Judaism - not just the “what” - will help them develop a connection to Judaism as a people.
Themes: Religion  Judaism  Community  
DATE POSTED:  04-17-2013 MORE ABOUT THE TALK

Young Jews today, contends Sid Schwarz, have been raised on too much of the “what” of Judaism and not enough of the “why”; their connection to Jewish life is more covenantal than tribal. Rabbi Schwarz shares an emotional account of his congregation’s experience building a school with a Christian community in Haiti, and in doing so proposes a powerful answer to the “why” of being Jewish.
 

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10
Inspired? Click the light.
BE INSPIRED
Sid Schwarz argues that providing Jews with experiences of the “why” of Judaism - not just the “what” - will help them develop a connection to Judaism as a people.
ABOUT THE TALK

Young Jews today, contends Sid Schwarz, have been raised on too much of the “what” of Judaism and not enough of the “why”; their connection to Jewish life is more covenantal than tribal. Rabbi Schwarz shares an emotional account of his congregation’s experience building a school with a Christian community in Haiti, and in doing so proposes a powerful answer to the “why” of being Jewish.
 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Rabbi Sid Schwarz founded and led PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values for 21 years. He is also the founding rabbi of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, MD where he continues to teach and lead services.  Dr. Schwarz holds a Ph.D. in Jewish history and is the author of two groundbreaking books--Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue (Jewish Lights, 2000) and Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World (Jewish Lights, 2006). 

Currently, Sid serves as a senior fellow at Clal: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership where he is involved in a program that trains rabbis to be visionary spiritual leaders.  Sid was awarded the prestigious Covenant Award for his pioneering work in the field of Jewish education and was named by Newsweek as one of the 50 most influential rabbis in North America. Sid's newest book is Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Future (Jewish Lights, 2013).

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MEET Rabbi Sid Schwarz

Rabbi Sid Schwarz founded and led PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values for 21 years. He is also the founding rabbi of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, MD where he continues to teach and lead services.  Dr. Schwarz holds a Ph.D. in Jewish history and is the author of two groundbreaking books--Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue (Jewish Lights, 2000) and Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World (Jewish Lights, 2006). 

Currently, Sid serves as a senior fellow at Clal: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership where he is involved in a program that trains rabbis to be visionary spiritual leaders.  Sid was awarded the prestigious Covenant Award for his pioneering work in the field of Jewish education and was named by Newsweek as one of the 50 most influential rabbis in North America. Sid's newest book is Jewish Megatrends: Charting the Course of the American Jewish Future (Jewish Lights, 2013).

RESOURCES

Discussion questions:

Rabbi Schwarz’s experience with his congregation moved some of the teens from connecting to Judaism as a covenant to connecting to Judaism as a tribe. What is the difference between tribal Judaism and covenantal Judaism? What do you think inspired that mindset shift for this group? What kinds of experiences make you feel more covenantally connected to Judaism, and which more tribally? Why?
Do you feel that Jewish organizations today focus more on the why of being Jewish, or the what? How so? What is the relationship between these two elements?

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