Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Moishe House Hosts Rabbi Kerber, a recap

Last night, a group of young adults gathered at the Moishe House to talk to Rabbi Justin Kerber, the new Rabbi at Temple Emmanuel. Topics of conversation ranged from Sex to Jesus, Homosexuality, as well as stereotypes of Jews. Not only did the event manage to bring out a decent number of people, but it marks the first time that Moishe House in St. Louis has hosted an event with a Rabbi.

The group spanned both young adults who work for Jewish organizations and temples, to Jews who have never been to Israel and work on Yom Kippur, and even a few non-Jews.

The group seemed particularly interested in where stereotypes of Jews and money came from, and the legacy of not being able to own land, and being forced into roles as money-lenders was discussed.

After speaking about pikuach nefech, the special circumstances under which you can break Jewish laws to save a life, the question of who is a Jew surfaced.

Once participant with a Jewish father, and a non-Jewish mother, had a hard time dealing with the fact that religious Jews do not view her as Jewish.

Rabbi Kerber then pointed out that, not only is it more and more rare to find a reform Rabbi that won't perform intermarriage, it is also likely that within a decade, there will be intense outreach to children of mixed marriages to 'bring them into the fold'.

The event was facilitated well by Moishe House and kept generally on topic. I think that the event proved that young adults will come out to an event that explicitly talks about Judaism and includes a Rabbi. This gives further credence to the theory that, so long as the atmosphere is comfortable, people will come.

A bottle of Muscato was enjoyed by several participants at Sasha's afterwards.

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