I Don’t Like Labels

Recently, I was interviewed by a reporter who asked me: “What type of rabbi are you?”  Clearly, the reporter was looking for my Jewish “label”: Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, or Reform.  As a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the rabbi at Ramat Shalom, a Reconstructionist synagogue, you would probably assume that my answer to the reporter’s question would be: “Reconstructionist”.  But, it wasn’t.  I explained to the reporter that I simply like to be referred to as a “rabbi” and told him that I do not like to be labeled.  I don’t think he really knew what to do with this.  Sadly, in the US, being a Jew without “label”, especially a rabbi without a “label” is difficult to comprehend.  The reporter needed an explanation – and I wanted to share with you what I told him. The division of Judaism into movements is something that it is, for…