Schwarz, Sid (Sidney Schwarz)
Schwarz, Sid (Sidney Schwarz)
Education: Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Ph.D., 1980.
Office—PANIM, 6101 Montrose Rd., Ste. 200, Rockville, MD 20852.
Writer, rabbi, educator, lecturer, and administrator. PAMIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values, founder and president. Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, DC, executive director. Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation, Rockville, MD, founding rabbi and rabbi emeritus. Served on the faculty of the University of Maryland, Temple University, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, the Wexner Summer Institute, and the Whizin Family Education Institute. Frequent lecturer and speaker on contemporary Jewish affairs.
Covenant Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators, Covenant Foundation, 2002.
(With Marc Gopin and Mark H. Levine) Jewish Civics: A Tikkun Olam/World Repair Manual, Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (New York, NY), 1994.
Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue, Jossey-Bass (San Francisco, CA), 2000.
Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World, foreword by Ruth Messinger, Jewish Lights Publishing (Woodstock, VT), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including Judaism, Moment, Sh'ma, and Reconstructionist.
Rabbi Sid Schwarz is an author and advocate for the reinvigoration and enhancement of Jewish life in America. He is the founder of PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values. A biographer on the author's home page called PANIM "a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the renewal of American Jewish life through the integration of Jewish learning, values, and social responsibility." Schwarz has been an educator at a number of American universities, the executive director of Jewish organizations, and an active rabbi in the Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Rockville, MD.
In his first book, Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue, Schwarz considers the crisis of the modern suburban synagogue, and how with its emphasis on children and outside service, it is "unable to provide the connectedness, belonging, intimacy and inclusiveness many baby boomers are seeking," remarked a reviewer in Publishers Weekly. To overcome this situation, Schwarz suggests that Jewish congregations should become "participatory and welcoming ‘synagogue-communities,’" the Publishers Weekly critic reported. He identifies and explores the characteristics of a synagogue within each of the main categories of American Judaism, including reform, orthodox, conservative, and reconstructionist, and looks at how the congregations' deeply committed rabbis and members exemplify the spirit of contributing spiritually and intellectually to their communities. Schwarz also identifies existing programs and services that help the Jewish communities behind these synagogues grow and thrive. "Each story is interesting, well told, and meaningful and can chart a path for those seeking similar religious commitment," commented Idelle Rudman in Library Journal.
With Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World, Schwarz explores the connections "between Judaism, social justice, and the identity of American Jews," noted George Cohen in Booklist. Jews, Schwarz notes, are often involved in projects and causes that support justice, peace, equality, human rights, and similar social topics. He looks carefully at the influences that urge Jewish persons to take up these causes and to expend considerable effort in furthering them. Schwarz recounts the nature of Jewish activism and involvement in public affairs and social causes from the end of World War II to the early years of the twenty-first century. He provides a "keen account of missteps and falterings among Jews as well as their positive contributions" to their individual societies and the larger world community throughout history, noted an Internet Bookwatch reviewer. Cohen called the book an "engrossing commentary deserving to be read."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 2006, George Cohen, review of Judaism and Justice: The Jewish Passion to Repair the World, p. 30.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, June, 2007, A.J. Avery-Peck, review of Judaism and Justice, p. 1773.
Internet Bookwatch, January, 2007, review of Judaism and Justice.
Library Journal, May 1, 2000, Idelle Rudman, review of Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue, p. 120.
Publishers Weekly, March 27, 2000, review of Finding a Spiritual Home, p. 75.
Tikkun, July, 2000, review of Finding a Spiritual Home, p. 81.
Jewish Reconstructionist Federation Web site,http://www4.jrf.org/ (August 1, 2007), biography of Sid Schwarz.
Panim Web site,http://www.panim.org/ (July 15, 2007), biography of Sid Schwarz.
Rabbi Sid Schwarz Home Page,http://www.rabbisid.org (August 1, 2007).