Successes, Too

As the Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton, Mass., I was certainly proud of the Lander Grinspoon Academy, our local K-6 day school, cited in a recent article as an exception to the trend of other Schechter-affiliated schools shrinking or closing (“What Does Schechter Decline Mean?” January 27). However, I also believe it is time to look at the bigger picture and curb our tendency to bemoan a supposedly compromised Conservative movement.

There are many reasons for the success of LGA, including visionary lay and professional leadership, excellence in teaching, a pluralistic religious philosophy and local demographics. But no less a factor in the success of LGA is its strong connection to the Conservative synagogue next door, whose members have supplied a majority of the school’s enrollment over the past 13 years. We should certainly investigate the factors behind shrinking participation in Jewish organizations nationally, but I believe that it is just as important to highlight our sources of vitality.

Justin David
Congregation B’nai Israel
Northampton, Mass.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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Successes, Too

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