I’ve decided to obnoxiously co-opt the phrase “Out, Loud and Proud” to describe how I’m currently feeling about the Jewish denomination with which I’ve consciously chosen to affiliate.
I’m proud of the strides our movement has made in the last decade to look back at our history and learn from it, and move forward. I’m proud of the work in social justice we do, and how we’ve embraced the idea of Community Organizing and applied it to our own communities, AND the communities in which we live.
Yet, this Punk Torah post is spot-on. For so long we’ve allowed much of our constituency to affiliate on the basis of “I don’t do much, so I’m Reform.” We ought to be promoting and encouraging the opposite: “I’m Reform because I’m an active, thinking Jew, and I choose THIS life.” We ought to be educating our members to the highest degree, in order to BE thinking, active Jews, rather than Jewish by default.
For so long I’ve heard so many of our members who make educated, conscious choices apologize for the way they live their Jewish lives. There is this sense that our way is not authentic or valid.
It’s time to change this. It’s time to embrace who we are and why we do what we do. It’s time to confront those who affiliate by default and inspire them to affiliate by choice.
This is our 21st century challenge. Let’s take it and run with it.