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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Religion will never be replaced by social media --- if we act now

By Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn




Some are claiming "Facebook killed the Church". It certainly hasn't the Jewish star

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | New age psychologist / experimental theologian Richard Beck dropped a bomb on his blog, Experimental Theology.

In an article titled "How Facebook killed the Church" he grapples with the impact of Social Media on Church life. His conclusion is explosive. Generation Y, he claims, is leaving church life because the main perk of attending services was the social factor. Church is an opportunity to meet up with friends and plan when we're going out for a few drinks, shoot some hoops, or go dancing. Generation Y doesn't need the church event to plan the next social event, they can text, tweet, Facebook, doogle, meetup (I made up one those, see if you can figure out which).

Religious leaders and psychologists have argued that we still need our deeper relationships. Those relationships are not being serviced through Social Media. Beck addresses that challenge quite nicely. The relationships are not being deepened through social media, but social media is the place where the friends (who already have a deep relationship or will have one) can make their quick fire arrangements. No need for church to make plans.

I feel like I am in a doubly good position to respond to the Beckian challenge. I am currently the Rabbi of West Side Institutional Synagogue on Manhattan's Upper West Side and I am also the director of a new Synagogue Consulting initiative of the Orthodox Union called WINGS. In my own synagogue, I have seen the congregation grow over the last five years by over 80%. The constituency of our synagogue is 70% Generation Y (young married couples and single individuals). As for the consulting work, I have seen struggling synagogues but by and large I am watching growth.

For example, take a look at some of the great work being done over in Boca Raton (BRS — Boca Raton Synagogue). Jewish Generation Y are coming back. This is not just about a spiritual revival but this is also about the synagogue being a place where a smorgasbord of social and religious needs can be met. You can get inspired, you can eat your lunch, you can have your kids entertained, you can laugh or pray with over fifty of your buddies, you can study, you can teach, you can debate, and you can sing.


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You see, Facebook has been a friend to the Jewish Star. Social Media, and Web 2.0 has taught us the great value of crunching our activities into one domain so that more can get done in less time (ala "The Four Hour Work Week"). Ok — in comes synagogue and says we can let you get a whole lot done in a relatively short amount of time.

And by the way, Social Media presentations and webinars run by the Orthodox Union, Yeshiva University, and UJA for example, have paved the way for synagogues looking to build through the offerings of these vistas.

It irks me when religious leaders claim that Judaism is not afraid of modernity. We are afraid. We know the great challenges it has always posed. But what Judaism has said is that we have the shoes to dance with that fear.

The great Torah leader RabbiYaakov Kamenetsky (1891-1986) has pointed out that if we were to analyze the curriculum of Torah study in our yeshivas of modern day we would find that the format of study is drastically different than the curriculum recommendations of the Talmud. Doesn't the yeshiva community live by the Talmud? Yes, says Rabbi Kamenetsky, but the very nature of the mitzvah (religious duty) of Torah study is that we must learn to adapt our curriculum to method and mode of study that allows for maximize growth and success in that given point and place in history. Dance with the fear of modernity.

Rav Moshe Sofer (1762 - 1839), better known as the Chasam Sofer, once said (in a play on Talmudic syntax) "New is forbidden." But if you look at his legacy, at his wit, at his novel insights into the Torah you see that he wasn't a man ignoring the present. He meant that meeting Facebook as a foreign invader is dangerous and forbidden. But meeting Facebook as a way to build our communities, as a way to reinvigorate attendance at our classes on the sacred texts of rabbis, that's power. Meeting Facebook as a way to anchor our past into the modern world — that's dancing with our fear.

These new chachkes may be daunting and they may present a whole new set of challenges. The philosopher Schopenhauer has argued that any new advancement presents the world with more and weightier challenges than before. But still, while modernity does its thing — we continue to do ours.


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JWR contributor Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is spiritual leader of the West Side Institutional Synagogue in Manhattan.


© 2011, Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn