Conservative Judaism/Lapsed Jew


Hello Rabbi,

I am a member of a shul but a very irregular attendee. I go once or twice a year at the Saturday morning shacharit mostly to see my friends, but to little else. This is probably due to a midlife crisis type experience where I have been evaluating my life purpose and where I have been. I have come out the other end of this with a renewed zest for life and a feeling that every day is precious and meaningful.

I am missing involvement in the Jewish community even though I am busy with other things - I am also a Rotarian and a Freemason. I love both of these but want to reconnect with my Jewish life.

What is the best way for someone who has had little involvement to gradually reconnect and to do so in a sustainable way?

Thank you for your assistance and advice Rabbi.


Dear David,

Thank you for writing, and I admire your choices to reconnect with the Jewish community.

This will be good for you and for them, and the support of a community is a value which is
hard to measure.

The first step, in my opinion, is to visit your choices of congregations, evaluate as best you can by simply visiting once or twice, and then make an appointment to discuss your search for ways in which you can reconnect - personally, intellectually, spiritually .

Good luck

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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