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Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner


Write to me with questions about Jewish customs and law, history, philosophy and tradition for answers from a Conservative perspective or conversion. I am a graduate of The Jewish Theological Seminary and a member of the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly. Having served in congregational pulpits since 1970, I now am President of the Foundation For Family Education, Inc. a non-profit educational endeavor. I established it to create new formats of hands-on programs and provide free educational downloads at In addition to general informational questions I welcome your questions about programs for social action, outreach to dual-faith families, inter-faith clergy projects, healing services, education for conversion, adult education for the congregation and the community. If you have questions about Informal and Formal Education I am ready to share my extensive experience with Youth Activities, Camping and Religious School/Hebrew High School on a congregational, community and national/international level.

Experience in the area

I have served on the National Youth Commission for more than 25 years and serve on the Boards of the Conservative Zionist movement MERCAZ and the World Council of Synagogues. I have always dual-families and taught candidates for conversion with a great sense of fulfillment. I am very proud of 25 years on the Jewish camping staff of Camps Ramah. My greatest source of pride is my family! Ask me about them, please!:-)

What do you like about this subject?

I have always enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm for learning about our Jewish heritage with members of the Jewish community and with others who are interested in our tradition. I have always enjoyed asking questions, and I appreciate the opportunity to research answers to answer the questions of others - that's a special opportunity and blessing.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I enjoy most studying the classical texts - the primary text and commentaries - of our Rabbis and Sages carefully and closely, mining them for hints and bits about life as it was lived by Jews thousands of years ago, their questions and their problems as they searched for meaning in the face of challenge. It's like "literary archaeology."

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

I am fascinated by the fact that Jews have always had an enthusiasm about questioning their tradition, especially the texts (now written but have been oral and also in "scraps" of written records). I am impressed by our recovery from various resources - e.g. Cairo Geniza - the consistency of questions over the past several thousand years - generation after generation. People don't really change.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

I am still hoping that as we continue to "dig" in the texts of our tradition and research the origins of early Christianity and Islam, we will discover much more than we know now about the origins of modern Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Alan01/31/17101010Rabbi........... thank you very much for that .....
Jen01/01/17101010Thank you very much for your kind .....
Lisa11/16/16101010Thank you very much for your prompt .....
Alex08/09/161010I'm sorry, but I don't remember who .....

Recent Answers from Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner

2017-04-16 Sin:

Dear Bobby,    I feared your agenda when I read the question but assumed the best. This will be my final response.    First of all, the name is Lerner - no "a" in the name.    Secondly, we have always

2017-04-16 Sin:

Dear Bobby    Thanks for your question. I'll wish you happy holiday - either Jewish or Christian.    First of all, we "atone" for 2000 years in the Yom Kippur rituals in the forms of community and private

2017-03-06 big metal box at grave during service:

Dear Robert,    Thanks for writing.    I've consulted with colleagues, most of whom have not reported seeing such metl boxes. But, no one could explain the custom.    One suggestion seemed very insightful:

2017-01-29 Immigration:

Dear Alan,    Thanks for writing with obviously a current question.    Speaking for myself as a Conservative Rabbi, firstly, let's acknowledge that the Torah period  of time is quite different from now

2016-12-20 judaism:

Dear Anders,    Sorry your followup became lost in "cyberspace" and I just received it.  I apologize and hope you will forgive the system.    1. One can always ask another person to pray for you or someone


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