udy duslander, i.d.s.
complete design services
space planning - color coordination
furnishings & accessories
Specializing in Personalized Interiors
First Consultation FREE 356 4282
DESIGNS IN DECORATOR
L961. N o! 19 Pl owV
For High Quality Formica
Always At A Great Discount
"No matter whether it is an Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform
service, it's always traditional for the final announcements to
be too long."
Congregational Politics, Conflicting
Demands Are Destroying Our Rabbis
DR. GARY A. TOBIN
id you ever wonder why anyone
would choose to become a rabbi
today? Even if deep religious
commitment attracted someone to the
pulpit, it might not be enough to help
someone survive in contemporary con-
I have seen rabbis broken by the
demands of their congregants. Modern
rabbis are being asked to be so many
things to so many people that, with rare
exceptions, they cannot possibly succeed.
And if they do, it is because they have
mastered a political game well enough
to control the political factions that eat
up their less savvy colleagues.
Have you ever seen the criteria that
we use to select a rabbi for a position?
He or she should:
have deep knowledge of Jewish law
deliver "good" sermons (either in con-
tent or style — the loftier the better);
have good people skills, especially
with children; and
exhibit good leadership ability.
What does all this mean? In real
language, we expect the rabbi to be an
entertainer, delivering fascinating ser-
Gary A. Tobin is the director of the Center
for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis
mons and speeches. We expect him or
her to be a modern library, a nice piece
of computer software that can be pro-
grammed to spit out relevant religious
answers upon request. We expect a mas-
ter of ceremonies, someone to offer reli-
gious meaning, humor (or appropriate
pathos) at our important life cycle
events of birth, marriage, bar/bat
mitzvah, and death. The rabbi should
also be a candy striper, spreading joy
and spiritual comfort at the hospital. He
or she should be a magnet for potential
members, the big sale item to attract
dues-paying members to the synagogue
or temple, a counselor, someone to come
to for marital advice or help with a
child. A rabbi should be a leader, help-
ing to give the synagogue direction and
purpose, but not too fast and not too far
away from the centrist majority.
A rabbi is supposed to like children
and elderly people; some combination of
Mister Rogers and Danny Thomas.
Really, of course, what is expected is to
turn on and inspire children, making
them feel welcome at Hebrew school. As
parents abdicate the religious training
of their children to institutions, greater
pressure is put on the rabbi to inculcate
Judaism into the reluctant pre-
adolescent for the 1-6 hours per week
the children are in Hebrew school.
While parents abandon ritual practice
and synagogue attendance, the rabbi is
supposed to be a modern role model. But
• desks • wall units
• dining rooms
• woods • glass
• metals • lucites
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO COST A
FORTUNE ... ONLY LOOK LIKE IT!
CALL LOIS HARON 851-6989
Protect Your Investment With Our Certified
Cold fur storage prolongs the life
of your furs by keeping them soft
and supple for years. We have
storage facilities on the premises
for your convenience.
Bring us your fur garment and
we will include:
• Free minor repairs.
• Free fur appraisal.
Let Us Restyle Your Old Fur
Your older furs will be restyled by
our remodeling department into
modem, contemporary fashions.
You'll be amazed by our creativity
and pleased with our
181 S. Woodward Ave., 1 Blk. S. of Maple,
Next to the Birmingham Theatre
Free Adjacent Parking • 642-1690
Continued on Page 10