“It appears that at the very least, the Conservative movement lays the groundwork for many of its young charges to pursue a more intensive religious life. But the movement has accomplished more than merely launching them in the direction of a deeper Jewish life. It seems that these young people have chosen Orthodoxy as a way to continue an experience for which they were prepared by us. The National Ramah Commission documented in its “Research Finding on the Impact of Camp Ramah” (Spring 2005) that “Ramah camping is among the most effective means of ensuring a high level of commitment to Jewish life and positive Jewish and Zionist activity.””
“A host of creative and concrete initiatives is necessary if we are to reverse this trend and bring these young people back to us and not lose even more in the future. Although this is more an analysis of the phenomenon than recommendations for possible solutions, Synagogue 3000 and STAR (Synagogue Transformation and Renewal) have ideas; many Conservative synagogues and the Reform movement also have creative and replicable initiatives.
The Conservative movement’s challenge will be to use these initiatives to recapture the loyalty of its young people. The movement deserves to enjoy the fruit of its labors. It must continue to labor for those fruits.
I wish I could have been brilliant enough to come up with this one, but it’s actually not a joke. Read the full text here.