Jewish institutions have not been immune from the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Summer camps and other revenue generators have been canceled, and donations are predictably down. What does this mean for Jewish life America—especially for the denominational infrastructure that has loomed so large for so long?
When the crisis is over, will congregants return to synagogues with renewed enthusiasm or will they continue to enjoy livestreamed services from the comfort of their homes? Will the liberal denominations—already plagued by declining memberships and tenuous commitment—be able to recover? Could the Reform and Conservative denominations merge some of their institutional infrastructure under the pressure of Coronavirus-induced changes, as the Union for Reform Judaism’s president Rabbi Rick Jacobs recently suggested?
In this episode, one of America’s leading Conservative rabbis, David Wolpe, joins Jonathan Silver to think through these challenging questions about the future of Judaism in America.
Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.