5. Towards a Synthesis
It is probably clear that, as imperfect as we may be as Jews, as leaders we should always be seeking old-new paths on the road to Jewish knowledge. Echoing the Midrash, one day of study may ultimately be worth a thousand…
With Benjamin Kahn, we might agree that::
We desperately need leaders who possess a vision of Jewish unity and of pluralism within that unity, men and women who can lead Jewry in the direction of a democratically constituted, organic Jewish community that will negate rivalries… leaders who will construct a representative instrumentality that can take action and speak in one voice on the reactions of the Jewish and non-Jewish communities, on overseas problems and the needs of the Jewish People, on persecuted Jewry and on the State of Israel.
Above all, we require a leadership that is committed to the development and guardian of standards for Jewish organizational life based upon a hierarchy of values that can capture the idealism and retain the loyalty of coming generations.
We might also ask, along with Dr Avraham Avihai :
If the leaders do not lead in this area, who will?
Addressing the unity and teacher models together:
- How should a Jewish leadership create unity within?
- Can it create this unity and still teach and lead from the front?
- How does it try to do so at the moment?
- Does it teach and lead from the front today?
Discuss the first part of Benjamin Kahn's statement and Moshe Rabbeinu's request :
- Can a pluralistic, democratic leadership Jewish community formulate and take unified action on major issues relating to: Jews, Judaism, and Israel?
- What does this imply for the relationship between leaders and the members of the community, and how does this relate to examples brought from Jewish sources in the previous chapter?
In relation to the second part of Bejamin Kahn's statement:
- How do you understand his vision of a leadership capable of setting standards for Jewish organizational life that are: "based on a hierarchy of values", as well as having the capacity to attract and be acceptable to a pluralistic constituency - for today and the future?
- Compare and contrast with one of the articles brought under Internet References on Jewish Leadership