There have been several articles in the NY Times lately about changes in congregations and clergy life. Read this one entitled Congregations Gone Wild. It is about the changes in congregational life. People come seeking entertainment rather than challenge or learning.
I don’t think I had to read about it there to know. It is true in 23 years things have changed dramatically. The synagogue is a radically different place from the role of technology and the effect it has on us to the increase in diversity. Not all the changes are bad. Don’t get me wrong! Many changes are good ones (diversity, the role of women). But some changes are challenging including the decrease in Jewish knowledge and affinity, the challenges that are presented with interfaith families to help them be authentically Jewish and the decrease in cooperation among the various streams of Judaism. These make for a radically different experience today.
Do you have thoughts about how the synagogue can be more relevant in the quickly changing times? How can a congregation help to create meaning and relevance for those who take part? What is membership? How can an institution fund itself? And should services be seen as entertainment or sacred drama?
Let’s hear your thoughts.