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Conservative Judaism/Conservative Judaism, the Afterlife, and the Resurrection of the Dead


What does Conservative Judaism generally, if not also officially, believe in regards to the afterlife and the resurrection of the dead?

Dear Nicole,

I answered this question on 12/17. The simplest answer can be found in the Encyclopedia Judaica in the library or the Jewish Encyclopedia online.

Since then multiple books have been published on the subject which is long and broad, far too much to cover in this short Q&A approach.

Sorry if this disappoints you but you have asked major philosophical questions for which there can be no brief, simple and adequate answer.

Good luck
Rabbi Dov

From the 2007 Encyclopedia Judaica


Encyclopaedia Judaica

Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Vol. 1. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007.
Macmillan Reference USA  COPYRIGHT 2007 Keter Publishing House Ltd.
Page 441

Judaism has always maintained a belief in an afterlife, but the forms which this belief has assumed and the modes in which it has been expressed have varied greatly and differed from period to period. Thus even today several distinct conceptions about the fate of man after death, relating to the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the dead, and the nature of the world to come after the messianic redemption, exist side by side within Judaism. Though these conceptions are interwoven no generally accepted theological system exists concerning their interrelationship. . . .

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Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner


Write to me with questions about Jewish customs and law, history, philosophy and tradition for answers from a Conservative perspective or conversion. I am a graduate of The Jewish Theological Seminary and a member of the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly. Having served in congregational pulpits since 1970, I now am President of the Foundation For Family Education, Inc. a non-profit educational endeavor. I established it to create new formats of hands-on programs and provide free educational downloads at In addition to general informational questions I welcome your questions about programs for social action, outreach to dual-faith families, inter-faith clergy projects, healing services, education for conversion, adult education for the congregation and the community. If you have questions about Informal and Formal Education I am ready to share my extensive experience with Youth Activities, Camping and Religious School/Hebrew High School on a congregational, community and national/international level.


I have served on the National Youth Commission for more than 25 years and serve on the Boards of the Conservative Zionist movement MERCAZ and the World Council of Synagogues. I have always dual-families and taught candidates for conversion with a great sense of fulfillment. I am very proud of 25 years on the Jewish camping staff of Camps Ramah. My greatest source of pride is my family! Ask me about them, please!:-)

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