Saturday Morning, May 18
THE SILVER SCHOLAR SYMPOSIUM
OUR FUTURE: INFORMED PRESENTATIONS. CONGREGATIONAL CONVERSATIONS.
OPENING SESSIONS – 9:30 AM
Being Jewish Today
What is our mission as Jews in the world today? What does it mean to live a Jewish life? What should it mean? What beliefs, skills, and attributes are needed to be Jewish today? What degree of Hebrew fluency is necessary? Is God optional? Is institutional affiliation vital? How should we model Jewish education for our children, our teens, and us as adults? And how do we square being the Chosen People with being part of humanity? Is it an opportunity; a responsibility; a burden?
Warm and Welcoming?
What is our responsibility to the congregation and to each person in it? In a warm and welcoming congregation where every person matters, is there a role for distinctions among interfaith, multi-cultural, LGBTQ, racial, and ethnic minorities, and other congregants? In understanding who is a Jew? Who decides who is a Jew? Based on what factors? How does the Reform perspective on these issues differ from or align with other Jewish perspectives, perspectives in Israel, and American and world perspectives?
Our Relationship with Israel
How does the miracle of Israel embody our Jewish values and aspirations? Are there ways in which it does not? Is that a fair and reasonable question for us to ask? How can we – Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver’s congregation – foster appreciation for Israel while creating safe settings for discussions among people with strong differences of opinion? How do we educate our youth and ourselves to wrestle with these questions with confidence? And as the Jewish population in Israel grows to exceed the Jewish population in the diaspora, what changes in our relationship with Israel emerge?
CLOSING SESSION – 10:45 AM
LIGHT LUNCH BUFFET – 11:45 AM