Posts Tagged ‘Denomination’


Some Things are Meant to Be—and Maybe Now is Your Time….

Posted on: January 22nd, 2014 by Hayim Herring


Last April, I read an Alban weekly newsletter about a collection of essays on Protestant seminary education, called Keeping the Faith in Seminary Education. This volume was edited Ellie Roscher, a Protestant, female millennial with personal seminary experience. Having worked for many years on rabbinical and continuing Rabbinical education, I was naturally intrigued by the topic. And I also know that Protestants and Jews have some of the same struggles in creating vibrant religious communities, so a collaboration on this kind of project would likely generate some new ideas. I didn’t know Ellie, but thought that there was no downside to tracking her down and learning more about her project. Yes – I admit that I was already thinking then about perhaps editing a book with her on rabbinical education.

Hayim Herring-WordCloud

Coincidentally or providentially, it turned out that she was moving back to her hometown in Minneapolis. Shortly after she arrived, we met in person. I can’t say that I expected that she would agree at our very first meeting to be involved in co-editing and writing a part of a book. But I guess that some things are meant to be, and not only Ellie, but her publisher, Andrew Barron of Avenida Books, also quickly came on board.


So here is your chance: especially in light of the Pew Study, if you are a rabbinical student, rabbi, or educator of rabbinical students or rabbis, we want to hear your unmediated voice on the nature of rabbinical education. Please click here to find out how you can potentially contribute an essay to a volume that needs to be written—I hope that I’ll catch you at one of those moments of interest, just like Ellie’s volume found me. And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.


Thank you, Rabbi Hayim Herring


P.S.-for Ellie’s version of the story on our collaboration, visit her blog. And—first we wrote our own recollections of our meeting and only then did we read one another’s posts. Uncanny how similar and still distinctive they are!



Look Past the Label

Posted on: February 8th, 2011 by Hayim Herring

Photo by olaf.herfurth*

For many years, sociologists and Jewish pundits have been predicting the rise of Jews who defy denominational labels. And, they are here to stay! Often, the independent minyanim types tend to become the focus of study and observation. But they aren’t the only ones out there.

There’s another group of people who deserve equal attention. They are serious about their Judaism and they’re equally serious about not fitting into a box that someone else has defined for them. Unlike independent minyanim’ers, it isn’t that they necessarily reject denominations. It’s just that no single denomination can contain their eclecticism.

A friend of mine referred me to a recent post by Nina Badzin, entitled The Rise of Reformadox Judaism. It’s a well-written, edgy piece that precisely captures this other group, which I sense is much larger numerically than the indie minyan crowd. (Full-disclosure-I know the author.)

I encourage you to read this post and the many comments that follow. As you do, you might want to think about some of the following questions: if you’re involved in a denominational synagogue, how do you keep someone like author engaged in your community? What appeal does membership have to someone like the author? And ultimately, what are the possible pros and cons to the Jewish community in general as we see more Ninas claim their place?

Rabbi Hayim Herring

*Photo olaf.herfurth via wikimediacommons