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Leon Morris

Temple Adas Israel

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Leon A. Morris is the rabbi of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, NY. After living in Manhattan for 18 years (and serving as the founding director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning for 10 of them) he and his wife, Dasee Berkowitz, moved to the East End of Long Island where together they are building community, writing, learning and spending time with their son Tamir and daughter Yael.

In Search of Ten Good Men and Women

What Happened to the Minyan in Reform Judaism?

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

The American Reform movement, while never explicitly rejecting the notion of a minyan, has been ambivalent about it over the course of the last century. The minyan points to critical areas of tension in American Jewish life: the centrality of community within a Jewish framework that is increasingly about the self; the meaning of requirements and standards for a Jewish community that sees personal autonomy as a defining feature of Jewish life; and hard distinctions between Jews and non-Jews.

Projecting Freedom:

Cinematic Interpretations of the Haggadah

Film, Text & Thought

Following a year of studying the Haggadah, 14 video artists and filmmakers interpreted each of its sections in short 1-5 minute videos with vastly different takes on the meaning of the Haggadah. Premiered at the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning in March 2010, these videos -- and a newly released accompanying study guide -- can provide a fresh, creative and thought-provoking way of exploring the Haggadah this Passover for you, your congregation, Hebrew school or adult learners.

Longing to Hear Again:

Second Naivete and Liberal Judaism

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

Our childhood beliefs are challenged by what we experience later in life. Similarly, many of the Jewish People's core beliefs were challenged by the Enlightenment, biblical criticism and science. With many central myths shattered, we have found ourselves "stuck" in the stage of "demythologization." Our contemporary challenge is to creatively reclaim these ancient texts, laws, and rituals and allow them to speak to us in new ways, moving away from concern with truth toward understanding.


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