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Conservative Judaism/A simple question for you.


Do you or other members of the Jewish faith believe that you are better than me in ANY way, due to being the "chosen" ones?

I follow no religion.

Dear Joe,

Thank you for writing, and your question is an important one.

I should begin by saying that I am writing as an individual Rabbi, and I certainly can not speak for all Jews.

In my opinion, and for the 50 years in which I have led congregations and taught both in my own congregation and in many inter-faith occasions, there is absolutely no way in which someone born into a Jewish family or converts to Judaism is superior to anyone else - religious or not of any faith.

I have always interpreted the Biblical text to mean that historically Jews were apparently the first to choose to follow a religious path personally and socially in our approach, rules and customs. Thereafter, at least in Western civilization, two other religious traditions grew out of the Jewish tradition, which Jews respect as equally valid for their respective adherent as Judaism.  

We were given the gift of a Jewish path in life consistent with our understanding of making the world a better place for all humanity. No one has to become Jewish to either also contribute to a better world for all and/or experience whatever is meant by salvation.

Let's hope that soon peace will come to all humanity with respect and justice for everyone.

Rabbi Dov  

Conservative Judaism

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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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