Rabbi Yitz Greenberg, founder of CLAL and interpreter of Judaism as a Modern Orthodox Rabbi, recently gave a "State of Judaism" talk in San Francisco. After assessing the problems, including that nearly 90% of Jews in the Bay area have no Jewish affiliation, his advice was the following:
1. We must re-articulate the Jewish narrative. We must offer religious and moral experiences that are as powerful as other choices people have in the non-Jewish parts of their lives.
2. Our infrastructure needs to respond to where people are. They won't come to us.
3. We need to engage Jews in a way that is simultaneously deep and distinctive, but that is not bigoted and tribalist.
If this were truly a State of the Union address, there would have been thunderous applause and a few standing ovations. In the meantime, the Jewish Studio is doing its part to follow much of that advice. Stick around - perhaps our own State of Judaism address in the coming years will speak of how we articulated, responded and engaged!