Breaking rank with most Jewish organizations, America’s largest synagogue movement is calling on Israel to declare a moratorium on new building in East Jerusalem, following the latest dispute over plans to build 1,600 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood.
A bill now stalled in the Knesset has once again opened up a rift between Israel and North American Jewry over the question of who is a Jew.16
Whenever he is asked about prospects for a two-state solution, Moshe Elad, who was the first head of Israeli-Palestinian security coordination after the Oslo Accords, answers with a question of his own: “In the West, people see removing settlements as the most effective way of moving things forward. But say we reach a point where settlements are removed. Where the hell do we go from there?”5
The denominations that make up mainstream American Judaism — Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist — all seem to be struggling with organizational issues while clinging fiercely to their separate identities. But not Jewish Renewal, a small movement based on the teachings of Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Renewal is facing the exact opposite problem: It is struggling to mature as a movement without becoming a denomination.
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