The New Jewish Awakening: Our obsession with the narrative of our community’s decline overlooks threads of optimism and opportunity by Benjamin Spratt and Joshua Stanton.
American Jewry needs to wake up to new possibilities – book review: In contrast to the narrative of constant decline, two young American rabbis offer a powerfully positive and perhaps overly optimistic narrative by Rabbi Ron Kronish
Commodifying Faith by Benjamin Spratt and Joshua Stanton
American Judaism Is in Decline. That’s Great News for American Jews: Synagogues closing, rising intermarriage, deepening denominational and political rifts: That’s one way to tell the story of today’s American Jewish Diaspora. But there’s another thrilling, remarkable tale we should be telling by Benjamin Spratt and Joshua Stanton
Break Up America’s Clergy Cartel [God Is Not A Business]: We’re Reform rabbis who want more transparency for clergy contracts and fewer protectionist obstacles that keep good people from answering the call by Benjamin Spratt and Joshua Stanton
Judaism must learn to welcome outsiders to its traditions: Non-Jewish people should be able to explore Jewish traditions and elements without having to commit to converting by Benjamin Spratt and Joshua Stanton
The future of American Judaism looks bright, contend rabbis Stanton and Spratt in their strong debut. The authors argue that the “seeds of a new Jewish awakening” lie with “those cast to the margins of the American Diaspora” because of their gender, sexual orientation, or race. Stanton and Spratt highlight historical reinventions of Judaism that created new options for religious affiliation while facilitating the continuity of tradition, such as when Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan officiated the first modern bat mitzvah and helped found one of the first Jewish community centers in the early 20th century. Emphasizing the importance of accepting marginalized Jewish people as part of this renewal, the authors tell the stories of such contemporary figures as rabbi Mike Moskowitz, whose stand against Jewish day schools’ expulsion of trans students cost him his job at a synagogue, and Eleyna Fugman, who created a Jewish leadership program to boost the voices of queer Jewish people and Jewish people of color. Stanton and Spratt only summarily address the obstacles that their inclusive definitions of Judaism face, such as the impact of the Israeli rabbinate’s position on the matter, but nonetheless, this nuanced portrait of the state of American Judaism proffers a cogent vision of how to revitalize the faith. This is a persuasive case to maintain a positive outlook on the future of Judaism. (Aug.)
New Kinds of Growth: Edifice Rex by Rabbi Benjamin Spratt and Rabbi Joshua Stanton
Who’s ‘Really’ Jewish: the Sefardi Floridian, the Ashkenazi Californian, or the New York Jew By Choice? ‘Authenticity’ is a Trap by Rabbi Ben Spratt and Rabbi Joshua Stanton.
An awakening is coming to American religion. You won’t hear about it from the pulpit: The future of American religion resides with innovative lay leaders who focus on empowerment, rather than power by Joshua Stanton and Benjamin Spratt