What exactly is Conservative Judaism?
In a nutshell, Conservative Judaism was founded in order to “conserve” Jewish traditions. An American Jewish movement known outside the USA as Masorti, they were not in the business to reform Judaism like the progressives but not as strict as the Orthodox. Conservative, the peace-keeping middle child of the Jewish movement family, boasts a strong 35% of the total American Jewish population. It strives to balance modernity with traditional observance. Conservative Jews are not as strict in regards to Kashrut, or keeping kosher as Orthodox Jews. (yay maybe?!!) :-)
How will being Conservative Jewish Change me?
- Diet Changes – As a Conservative Jew, I would try to keep kosher but my observance would not be as strict. So that means, I will still go out once in a while and eat to my heart’s content? (I hope Rabbis are not reading this…..)
- Schedule Changes – Similar to Orthodox, I may go to services but not as strict around schedule. I will deter from using technology during Shabbat of course and have kosher meals during this downtime. I will also be observing Jewish holidays. There are too many of them to count!!
- Belief Changes – This is an obvious one. I am agnostic for now, I believe in a higher being that unites all the universe-which the Jews refer to as G-d. (Same as Orthodox, but Conservative Jews are open to integrate outside influences into Judaism and they allow scientific questioning of the religion)
- Life Changes – When I am officially Jewish, I will be one with the Jewish people. Their suffering will be on me too. Their discrimination I will feel too. As a friend of mine said, I will be throwing my lot in with the Jews. I wonder if I will still get to be Chinese? Would I have to drown out one of my identity for the other? I hope not! I love celebrating diversity of the human experience!
This movement sounds like a good fit for me so far.