News of the Vatican “conclave” to select a new pope has been confusing for some of us who, raised as Reform Jews or in Jewish youth groups, have a very different idea of what is meant by a conclave.
Some key distinctions:
Vatican conclave: College of Cardinals assembles in Sistine Chapel to elect a new Pope.
- Jewish conclave: Jewish teens assemble in Feinberg All-Purpose Room to elect a new Regional President
Vatican conclave: Only cardinals who are under 80 years old are eligible to participate in the conclave and vote.
- Jewish conclave: Only teens who have paid dues through their synagogue and have submitted the parental permission slip, the medical release form, and a signed code of conduct may participate.
Vatican conclave: Can last several days and include up to four votes each day.
- Jewish conclave: Can last several days and include up to four daily Debbie Friedman singalongs led by a rabbinical student.
Vatican conclave: Pope Benedict XVI’s abrupt resignation opens the door to a host of possible successors
- Jewish conclave: Uri Kagan is pretty much a lock for Programming Vice-President, since he’s kind of a suck-up.
Vatican conclave: Cardinals hear two sermons before the election.
- Jewish conclave: Host committee offers a warm welcome with a “motion to commotion” and Rabbi Donna leads a “Bibliodrama” exercise about Jacob, Esau, and how to deal with bullies.
Vatican conclave: Cardinals are banned from contact outside the conclave, including the use of cell phones, social media and the Internet.
- Jewish conclave: Teens must put phones on vibrate during Shabbat.
Vatican conclave: A top British cardinal has said he won’t attend the conclave because of a scandal surrounding allegations of unspecific “inappropriate” behavior.
- Jewish conclave: Joshua Blechmon of Oak Park, Ill., will not be allowed to take part because of inappropriate behavior he described in quite specific detail on the youth group Facebook account.
Vatican conclave: After election, the new pope goes to the “Room of Tears” and dresses himself in a new set of pontifical choir robes
- Jewish conclave: After havdalah, Marcie Lefkowitz-Levy, already upset that Tyler Herwitz-Block was seen hooking up with Maya Shpielman-Shore, bursts into tears after realizing she forgot to bring her bathing suit
Vatican conclave: After all the cardinals gather, the Master of the Papal Liturgical Celebrations stands at the door of the Sistine Chapel and calls out: “Extra omnes!” (Latin for, roughly, “Everybody else, out!”)
- Jewish conclave: After the Saturday night dance party, host families stand in the lobby of the synagogue and call out “Weinstein! Who’s going home with the Weinsteins?”