30 2013

Three Rabbi Panel: The Evolving Role of the Synagogue

7:30PM - 9:00PM  

Stern Center Ballroom (4th Floor) Corner of Glebe & George St.

Contact Mark Swick

Beginning with the arrival of Jews to Charleston in the late 17th century, the Holy City once functioned at the forefront in determining the direction of the American Jewish community, in particular the role of the synagogue. Between 1800 and 1830, Charleston was home to the largest Jewish community in North America, with our temple playing a central role as a gathering place and house of worship for Charleston’s Jews. For generations to follow, in Charleston and across the country, the synagogue was one of the most significant institutions in Jewish life. The 21st century brings a number of challenges: from the increase in secular and unaffiliated Jews, to a financial model that relies heavily on membership dues for operating expenses, to becoming an institution providing a breadth of services once reserved to Jewish community centers. There is a compelling need for a wide-ranging discussion of the diverse issues facing American Judaism, and, in particular, those facing Charleston’s synagogues. What are we going to be? What issues affect some congregations and denominations, but not others? What will congregational Judaism in Charleston look like in ten, fifty or one hundred years? Our panelists will discuss the ever changing role of the synagogue as an institution, as well as their understanding of the direction their individual congregations are heading.