THE JRF'S WESTERN REGION & TEXAS - OUR MISSION: The JRF’s Western Region mission is to build a Reconstructionist Kehillah shel Kehillot. Our “community of communities” will provide an environment that: celebrates and respects each Kehillah's unique minhag (practices), enables each Kehillah to thrive and achieve its goals, while also stimulating connection, communication, and sharing of best practices within the region. Regional leadership will serve as the first point of contact for Affiliates, ensuring that they become aware of the JRF’s North American initiatives and available resources. Regional leadership will expedite connections to such resources and other solutions and services that affiliate members value as helpful to achieving their objectives. Leaders will also facilitate synergies within the region and seek opportunities for the Western Region to be an integral part of the entire movement’s Kehillah shel Kehillot, with the intention of fostering growth, innovation and inspiration. read more »
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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SUNDAY MARCH 25 from 9:30am to 4:30pm
Congregation Or Shalom
1250 Quintara St. SF, CA 94116
Come join Reconstructionists from across Northern California for a Yom Iyyun -- a Day of Learning -- to explore how the Reconstructionist understanding of peoplehood impacts Jewish life and practice. This is a wonderful opportunity for Reconstructionist Jews, and those interested in learning about transformative 21st Century Judaism, to enjoy stimulating speakers and discussions, share wisdom & experiences, participate in dynamic workshops and lift our voices together in music and song.
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Over seventy participants - from as far north as Seattle, Washington to as far south as Eugene, Oregon - attended JRF’s regional Yom Iyyun (Day of Learning), themed “East by Northwest: A Jewish Perspective on Place and Community.” The five Reconstructionist congregations and havurot of the Pacific Northwest sponsored this thought-provoking program, held January 29th 2012 at Havurah Shalom in Portland. Feedback from attendees was extremely positive. read more »
This February, the Reconstructionist Community of the Bay Area welcomes the Women’s Torah, the first Torah in history to be created and embellished by an international community of women and the first to be sewn together in community.
The Torah is the handwritten parchment scroll of the first five books of the bible. All over the world, Jews read and study from the Torah during religious services and other times. The Hebrew letters must be hand-written by a trained scribe on special parchment using special ink and quills. Learning to become a Torah scribe requires painstaking training that takes many years. Until the Women’s Torah Project (WTP), only men scribed Torahs. read more »
This is a joint event of the Pacific Northwest JRF Congregations and Havurot:
Temple Beth Israel (Eugene, Oregon), Temple Beth Shalom (Salem, Oregon), Havurah Shalom (Portland, Oregon), Temple Beth Hatfiloh (Olympia, Washington), and Kadima (Seattle, Washington)
Come join Reconstructionists from across Oregon and Washington for a Yom Iyyun -- a Day of Learning -- to explore how "place" impacts Jewish life and practice in the Diaspora in the 21st century.
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We'd like to congratulate the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation on a wonderful 2010 Convention. The Western Region was thrilled to host this year's gathering in Newport Beach, California. The overwhelming feedback has been that the 2010 Convention was an incredible experience. Mazel tov, JRF!
The Western Region of the JRF congratulates the Reconstructionist congregation Kadima on the creation of the first Women's Torah ever to be commissioned.
The Women's Torah was finished in Seattle, Washington on October 15, 2010, with the help of many hands, hearts, and spirits. It is not only the first Torah written and embellished by an international community of women, it is the first Torah literally sewn together in community. Dozens of people had the opportunity to fill in letters, sew the parchment panels together, and tie the scroll to the rollers. Many others watched or helped the six scribes put the 62 panels in order, under the exultant wings of Shekinah.
Read more about the Women's Torah
The Western Region of JRF celebrated their Morei Derekh Reconstructionist Trailblazers. These outstanding individuals were chosen by their congregations for the Western region’s distinguished leadership award. Whether through building community, tikkun olam (social action) or hesed (acts of service), their volunteerism stands as a model for inspirational values in both the Jewish world and broader secular society.
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CONGRATULATIONS to Rabbi Seth Goldstein of Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia. He has been named one of the top 10 Jews under the age of 40 in Washington state who are making a difference in their communities. In bestowing the honor, the JTNews, a Seattle-based Jewish newspaper, said that New York-born Goldstein never planned on becoming a rabbi. But after visiting Temple Beth Hatfiloh, Olympia’s Reconstructionist synagogue, as a student rabbi, he couldn’t resist an opportunity to pull this region’s Jewish community together. Read the article.
Rabbi Arnold Rachlis of University Synagoge in Irvine, California, was honored with an invitation to deliver the invocation at President Obama's appearance at the Orange County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, March 18, 2009.
Read Rabbi Rachlis’s invocation and connect to a CNN I-report interview that followed the meeting plus additional coverage.
Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman has been hired to serve as the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation's Western Region Director. She is the first rabbi to hold the position since 1996. Rabbi Litman was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1989. During her student years, she was an intern in Los Angeles organizing Reconstructionist havurot in the San Fernando Valley. One of those havurot recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary. Since graduation, Rabbi Litman has served four California synagogues ranging in size from eighty to two thousand families. She also taught at California State University Northridge and Loyola Marymount.
by Lisa Pemberton
This article originally appeared in The Olympian and is reprinted with permission.
Members of Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia have envisioned a new synagogue for about 15 years.
"At one time, the (new building) committee was called TBH 2000," said Beth Halpern of Olympia. "When we first started, it seemed realistic." read more »
The dream soon will come to fruition as workers put the final touches on the 18,000-square-foot temple at Eighth Avenue and Washington Street, formerly the home of a Christian Science church.
What are your shul’s Christmas-day traditions? For the past few years, the members of Temple Beth Hatfiloh in Olympia, Washington, have gathered for a fun-filled Christmas-day Jewish movie night. Their premiere event in 2004, which featured a showing of Fiddler on the Roof, included a sing-along, costume contest, and a potluck, as well as the now-traditional food and blanket drive benefitting the Olympia Food Bank and other local organizations that support the community.
Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades, CA, celebrated the end of its mortgage with a special weekend of celebrations in early October.
JRF WESTERN REGION PLANNERS TEAM
Marlene Bellamy, JRF Board Member-at-Large (Dor Hadash, San Diego, CA)
Mark Bregman, JRF Regional VP (University Synagogue, Irvine, CA)
Andy Gordon, President (Havurah Shalom, Portland, OR)
Ron Glickman, JRF Board Member-at-Large (University Synagogue, Irvine,CA)
Sandy Goldman, JRF Board Member-at-Large and JRF Executive Committee VP
Ros Goldstein, Past President (Dor Hadash, San Diego, CA)
George Greenberg, JRF Board Member-at-Large (Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue, Malibu, CA)
Barnett Kalikow, JRF Regional VP (Temple Beth Hatfiloh, Olympia, WA)
Rich Levine, JRF Board Member-at-Large (Beth Evergreen, Evergreen, CO)
Linda Schibel, JRF Board Member-at-Large (Kehillat Israel, Pacific Palisades, CA)
Myrna Sigman, JRF Board Member-at-Large (Vail, CO)
OPEN, Beth Evergreen
Naomi Reshotko, B'nai Havurah
Liz Michelena, Chico Havurah
Dave Wertlieb, Congregation Dor Hadash
OPEN, Chavurah B'Yachad
Roz Witt, Havurat Olam
Sima Kahn, Kadima
Bob Zimmerman, Keddem Congregation
Marty Nislick, Kehillat Israel
Dan Ross, Malibu Jewish Center & Synagogue
OPEN, Ner Shalom
OPEN, Or Zarua
Aaron Roland, Or Shalom
Joan Resnick, Sacramento Reconstructionist Havurah
Richard Levy, Temple Beth Israel
OPEN, Temple Shalom of the South Bay
Wenonoa Spivak, Temple Beth Sholom
Jim Gilbert, University Synagogue
OPEN, Valley Outreach Synagogue