As the JRF and the RRC continue to restructure our movement for a better future, JRF has created a timeless Legacy Tribute Book in honor of our congregations. This keepsake memento will walk our members through the years of Reconstructionist history and highlight each of our communities in story and pictures. We are looking for your help to make this once-in-a-lifetime tribute book a reality. Would you consider making a gift to the JRF to support our lasting legacy?
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We experienced a wonderful opportunity for learning, professional development, spiritual growth, lots of music-making and seeing old and new friends in the JRF world.
The 2011 Harmoniyah Shabbaton was hosted by Congregation Darchei Noam in Toronto, Canada (http://www.darcheinoam.on.ca/)
Friday afternoon November, 11 through Sunday morning, November 13, 2011.
The goal of this Shabbaton was to continue to build a participatory, community-affirming network of rabbis, cantors, lay leaders, music directors, educators, liturgists, musicians and music lovers that joyfully celebrates our collective experiences, skills and resources in the ongoing preservation and creation of music of and for the Jewish People.
Shabbaton Highlights included (see schedule below):
- Workshops on Music for the Jewish year, finding your voice, davennen leadership skills, and Jewish folk music. - Several opportunities to share and learn music composed by musicians in our own
movement for Shabbat and other times.
- Creative and traditional services for weekday and Shabbat in Darchei Noam's beautiful
environmentally innovative building, surrounded by the beautiful voices of Harmoniyah members.
- Lots of opportunities to hear and share original music as well as known favorites.
The Shabbaton, primarily for the Canada region, but was attended by Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal members, as well as members of Reconstructionist communities in Denver, CO; Palo Alto, CA; Cleveland, OH, and Baltimore, MD, including:
· Cantors / Soloists / Rabbis / Shlichei Tzibbur/ Music Directors and Educators
· Choirs (not necessarily expert musicians, but those willing to devote time to practice)
· Congregational Singers
· Music and Congregational Life (education for families, adults, children; tikkun olam, the arts, programming outside of worship services, etc.)
Our goals are to help participants to be able to return to their home congregation with new tools, melodies, materials and ideas to enrich congregational life. We also hope this retreat will continue the task of growing and building connections among ourselves and our movement.
Coordination took place with other Harmoniyah travelers through the music listserve (www.jrf.org/listserves).
Harmoniyah is the music network of the Jewish Reconstructionist Movement. We are comprised of a group of professional and volunteer members, who serve JRF congregations in a myriad of musical, prayerful and spiritual ways.
Submitted by Phyllis Greenberg, David Lefkowich, and Rabbi Shawn Zevit of the
Harmoniyah Board and Darchei Noam, 2011 retreat host congregation
On the 7th of Cheshvan, Sunday October 29, Congregation Darchei Noam celebrated the groundbreaking on its new building in Toronto, Canada. Dignitaries including two members of parliament, the Minister of Community Safety, and JRF's Senior Consultant, Director of Outreach & External Affiliations Rabbi Shawn Zevit added to the large gathering of the community young and old.
The building will be 20,000 square feet, with stone and glass exterior and is expected to be completed by next fall.
Rabbi Grinberg said, "Our commitment to social justice will be felt in every stone.
Congregation president Michael Mitchell summed what makes Darchei Noam so succesful:
Our attraction has been that as Reconstructionist Jews, we have a deep respect and honour for tradition, and the desire tostudy that tradition, to study Torah. At the same time, we believe that Jewish religious culture and values are constantly evolving through the generations, and we have to be creative and thoughtful in adapting our tradition to ensure it is relevant and meaningful to us and to our children.
Michael Mitchell's complete speech as well as an article about the event in the Toronto Jewish Tribune are available in the attachments to this story.