University of St. Thomas Lecture: "The Future of Jewish Religious Denominations" by Rabbi Samuel M. Stahl
"The Future of Jewish Religious Denominations" is presented by Rabbi Samuel M. Stahl, Rabbi Emeritus at Temple Beth-El, San Antonio.
Today, the differences among the three major non-Orthodox Jewish denominations (Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist) are not nearly as sharp as they were years ago. Many Jews who join synagogues now identify themselves as "Just Jewish" and eschew being labeled. This phenomenon raises the question about the fate and future of these religious expressions of Judaism in their present forms. At the same time, Orthodoxy's future seems more certain. It has grown stronger and has attracted scores of Jews who previously were secular and non-observant. This development calls for a careful analysis.
Rabbi Samuel M. Stahl became Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth‑El in San Antonio in 2002, after serving 26 years as senior rabbi. He holds an earned doctorate from HUC-JIR, as well as two honorary doctorates, including one from Oblate School of Theology, a Roman Catholic graduate school in San Antonio. For six years, he was editor of the Journal of Reform Judaism, now the CCAR Journal, the official quarterly publication of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. He is also the author of Making the Timeless Timely: Thoughts and Reflections of a Contemporary Reform Rabbi. His second book is titled Boundaries, Not Barriers: Some Uniquely Jewish Perspectives on Life.