Ismar Schorsch: The Sacred Cluster

(1995)

The Sacred Cluster (1995) is a mission statement for Conservative Judaism written by Ismar Schorsch, the Rabbi Herman Abramovitz Professor of Jewish History and sixth chancellor of New York City’s Jewish Theological Seminary, with the latter post recognized as the highest academic and rabbinic position within the Conservative movement. The text identifies seven distinct issues as constituting the core of the movement’s identity. Schorsch emphasizes that they reflect not so much an abstract theological system, but rather the ideals and practices of a living community. Thus, they include issues of a theological nature but also, and perhaps primarily, issues bearing on social life. The seven issues are the importance of the relationship of the American Conservative Jews with the State of Israel; the place of the Hebrew language in Jewish life; the relationship of the individual Jew to Jews in general; the role of the sacred book of the Torah—the five books of Moses (also...

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Jewish boy studying the Torah (Library of Congress)

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