The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation is delighted to welcome Temple Israel of Duluth, MN, as its newest member community, and the third Reconstructionist-affiliated congregation in Minnesota. With the spirited leadership of Rabbi Amy Bernstein, the 200-household congregation is excited about joining the Reconstructionist Movement. read more »
Rabbi Shawn Zevit, JRF’s Director of Outreach and Tikkun Olam, who helped facilitate the affiliation process, said, “It is wonderful to welcome Temple Israel into our network of Reconstructionist member communities. We have been in dialogue for a few years together, and there was clearly interest in our approach to Jewish life, in no small part because of the inspirational spirit of Rabbi Amy Bernstein.
“It is difficult to convey the emotions that overcome us when inserting the large brass key into the lock plate of the front door and turning it twice to the right. We feel the large mahogany doors swing open slowly, allowing us to pass from the tumult of everyday life into peaceful twilight of the sanctuary… Although the building has gone through several major changes in its 275- year history, this feeling must have overcome our forefathers when they entered the building for its dedication…" From the pamphlet created honor of the 275th anniversary.
On May 17, 2007, representatives from eight JRF congregations, national and regional JRF staff, and representatives from the Jewish Funds for Justice gathered via conference call to discuss their ongoing community organizing efforts.
To learn more about community organizing and ways in which JRF can assist your congregation's tikkun olam activities, please contact Rabbi Shawn Zevit at JRF, 215-782-8500, ex.24, and see our Step-by-Step Guide to community organizing.
On Sunday afternoon, February 4th, about 45 people gathered to witness the completion of a new Torah scroll being gifted to Congregation T’Chiyah, located just outside Detroit, MI. Rabbi Levi Kagan, a local Sofer (scribe), publicly completed the last 75 letters of the scroll, each of which had been dedicated in honor or memory of a person or persons named by the individuals who went up to the Torah to witness its completion. T'chiyah members and guests were invited to participate in this ceremony in a very special way that will remain as a highlight of the congregation’s history.
Congregation Shir Hadash Celebrates Chai Year With Gala
On Saturday evening, May 19, Shir Hadash will celebrate its eighteenth year together. The highlight of the gala will be a celebration of all of its past presidents. In addition, Milwaukee’s own chanteuse, Robin Pleur, backed up by “Mrs. Fun” and clarinetist, Julie Wood, will entertain us as only they can. Those attending will also be able to participate in raffles for a trip to Eilat, Israel, Steam Boat Springs, Colorado, and twelve gift certificates for dinners at some of Milwaukee’s best restaurants.
The celebration will take place at the North Shore Country Club, 3100 W. Country Club Dr. 106 N, Mequon, WI. Sit down dinner included in the $75.00 ticket price.
Contact Eve Eiseman, at email@example.com, or 262-238-1542 for more information
On February 14, members from two JRF congregations in New England set out on a joint trip to Israel. The trip ends on February 25. Each congregation has set up a blog to report on the trip: Temple Hillel Bnai Torah from Newton, Massachusetts and Agudas Achim from Atleboro, Massachusetts.
A number of JRF affiliates do not have rabbis and thus have to face the challenge of leading services on a regular basis. read more »
One thing I reflect on in connection with my former congregation, Congregation T'chiyah in Detroit, Michigan, is that they still use the service structure three of us on the religious services committee set up about 20 years ago. Its longevity suggests that it can be a useful structure for other affiliates in ensuring service leadership, but we also found it provided many more benefits.
Many JRF rabbis and lay-leaders plan to be in Santa Clara, California, from Sunday, February 11 through midday Tuesday, February 13, 2007, for the K’hilot K’doshot: Holy Congregations, Just Communities, the second national gathering of synagogues involved in Congregation-Based Community Organizing (CBCO), sponsored by the Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ).
The National Gathering will be a unique opportunity to create a temporary community composed of synagogue leaders, clergy, organizers, and other faith leaders who are working to weave congregation-based community organizing into the Jewish community.
There, we will network, deepen our leadership and organizing skills, celebrate our successes and learn from our failures. Our work together will enable us to return to our local synagogue communities with more knowledge, better skills and the resources to engage in more effective CBCO work.
To register, click here.
Below are several texts that can be used for reflection and study in Congregation-Based Community Organizing (CBCO) settings. read more »
The following JRF congregations are actively participating:
Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation, Bethesda, MD
Bet Am Shalom, White Plains, NY
Beth Samuel Jewish Center, Ambridge PA
Bnai Keshet, Montclair, NJ
Bnai Israel, Willimantic, CT
Chapel Hill Kehillah, Chapel Hill, NC
Columbia Jewish Congregation, Columbia, MD
Congregation Beth Am, San Antonio, TX
Congregation Beth Shalom, Naperville IL
Congregation Dorshei Emet, Montreal, Canada
Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, West Newton, MA
Dor Hadash Congregation, Pittsburgh, PA
Dorshei Derekh, Philadelphia, PA
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, IL
Kehilat Hanahar, New Hope, PA
Kehillat Israel, Lansing, MI
Kehillat Israel, Pacific Palisades, CA
Kol HaLev, Cleveland, OH
Keddem Congregation, Palo Alto, CA
Or Hadash, Ft. Washington, PA
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Wyncote, PA
Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Wyncote, PA
Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore, Plandome, NY
Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel, Maywood, NJ
Society for the Advancement of Judaism, New York, NY
Temple Beth Hatfiloh, Olympia, WA
Temple Beth Sholom in Salem, Oregon
Temple Hillel B'nai Torah, West Roxbury, MA
Temple Sinai, Amherst, NY
University Synagogue, Irvine, CA
West End Synagogue, New York, NY
Learn more about this initiative...