Confident in the committed core


Ron Snyder’s opening assertion (“Conservatives at crossroads,” WJW, March 14): “The problem facing many Conservative Jews today is that they are waiting for respect and approval from the Orthodox community … while remaining envious of Reform Jewry’s ability to embrace modernity” does not even remotely represent me or my concerns as a Conservative rabbi.

My experience has been that I am able to have constructive, respectful relations with many Orthodox and Reform colleagues here in Greater Washington and beyond. I certainly do not seek anyone’s imprimatur for my religious identity. And rather than being envious of other expressions of Judaism, I endeavor to learn from the best practices and successes across the denominational spectrum.

What I seek to create in my synagogue community are opportunities for Jews of all backgrounds and commitments to come closer to God and Torah, without labels or qualifiers. While I am fully aware of the challenges of institutional Judaism in the 21st century, I believe that the depth, wisdom and beauty of Jewish tradition is so much more formidable. If there is anything I am absolutely confident of, it is the creativity and resilience of the committed core of the Jewish people, regardless of denominational affiliation.


Congregation Har Shalom, Potomac

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