JRF's affiliated congregations and havurot voted overwhelmingly at a special Plenum on April 10, 2011 in Philadelphia in favor of the proposal to unite the congregational arm of the Reconstructionist movement with the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.
For the most up to date information on the transition to unification see http://www.rrc.edu//node/1193
Click here to read the statement from Michael Mitchell about the results of the Plenum.
Click here to read the RRC's press release.
You can also read the 'At a Glance' document here.
Attached please find the downloadable packet containing:
As of 2010 year, the PEARL series was integrated with JRF's annual Omer Initiative (begun in 2005, seven weeks of learning between Passover and Shavuot with session focusing on "tikkun hanefesh v'olam", the well-being and active repair of self, community and the world. Please see http://jrf.org/omer/home.
The JRF-GreenFaith Partnership
GreenFaith and the JRF through the Department of Congregational Services and Tikkun Olam are pleased to announce a three-year partnership to promote a deepening of JRF’s existing environmental initiatives. GreenFaith is a leading national interfaith environmental coalition whose mission is to help diverse religious communities become environmental leaders. GreenFaith is a leading interfaith environmental coalition whose mission is to educate, equip and empower diverse religious communities for environmental leadership. Founded in 1992, GreenFaith offers a range of programs that help faith-based groups nationwide put their beliefs into action for the earth. The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation has had a long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship and the role of the Jewish people in building sustainable communities (http://jrf.org/Sustainable_Synagogue_Resources). read more »
Please download the flyer below.
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
Michael Mitchell was elected the new President of JRF at the business plenum of the 2010 JRF Convention.
Michael is a long time member of Congregation Darchei Noam in Toronto, where he has served as ritual chair, on numerous committees, and the Board. He was President for four years, during which time the Congregation raised the funds for a new building, commenced construction and grew rapidly. He leads davenning courses, teaches Torah trope, and leads services from time to time. Michael and his wife Lynne have three daughters, and are enjoying their first grandson.
Professionally, Michael is a Senior Partner at Sack Goldblatt Mitchell, and senior member of the Labour Law Bar in Canada. His practice focuses on collective bargaining and other types of negotiations, as well as interest arbitration, administrative law, and litigation including pension litigation. He served as Managing Partner of the firm from 1983 to 2006 during which time the firm experienced rapid growth. Michael is the co-author of Ontario Labour Relations Board Law and Practice, 3rd ed. Michael is also the principal of SGM Mediation & Dispute Resolution, and mediates all types of non-labour relations disputes.
Mazel tov and welcome, Michael!
Read the JRF President's Blog
By an overwhelming majority, the Plenum of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation on Friday, November 12, 2010 approved a resolution to move forward in talks with the other arms of the Reconstructionist movement to create a new, unified movement organization.
The resolution calls for the JRF, which is the congregational arm of the movement, to complete discussions with the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College by January 31, 2011. The Plenum to vote on the proposal on the table at that time will be held no later than April 10, 2011.
The mission of the new movement organization would reflect the goals laid out in the attached draft. The remarks by JRF President Michael Mitchell in introducing the resolution are also attached. (Click on the title, "Plenum Vote at the JRF Convention" to open this page and view the attached documents.)