Dear Ma Nishma Subscriber,
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Feel free to forward this to anyone you think would enjoy reading Ma Nishma.
Lisa Kelvin Tuttle
JRF Communications Director
April 2008 / Adar II – Nisan 5768
News from the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
National JRF News
Regional JRF News
Generations of Saposniks
Upcoming JRF-Sponsored Events
Post-B’nai Mitzvah teens and their parents are invited to share a week working together to make a difference. Tikkun JRF is a tikkun olam project for teams of post-B’nai Mitzvah teens and parents, Aug. 10-15, at Camp JRF in South Sterling, PA.
Space is limited! Enrollment is currently open for 20-30 adult and teen pairs, post-B’nai Mitzvah ages 13+ (teams may include one or two parents). You will live for a week in active, participatory community, connecting to local communities and providing much needed support and building work. We welcome your diverse skills and talents, including: carpentry, painting, meal planning, photography, team playing. Worker bees, educators, musicians and all others are welcome!
Download the registration form online at www.jrf.org/tikkun-JRF. To learn more, contact Eve Maslin at (215) 885-5601 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For project information, contact Clifford Goldsmith at (617) 965-7323 or e-mail email@example.com.
Rabbi Jeffrey Eisenstat, director of Camp JRF, David Nerenberg, president of the Jewish Reconstructionist Camping Corp., and Archie Gottesman, chairman of the Camp Capital Campaign, are pleased to announce The Challenge for Camp JRF. The goal for the next 12 months is for Camp JRF to raise $1 million of which the first $500,000 contributed will be matched dollar-for-dollar.
The dollar-for-dollar Challenge for Camp JRF is being made possible through the auspices of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Gottesman Family.
Through The Challenge, Camp JRF will continue to pursue its vision for long-term dynamic growth and economic vitality.
Program Guidelines for The Challenge for Camp JRF:
For further information, please contact Marla Friedenberg, Camp JRF Development Associate at (215) 885-5601, ext. 28 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOV. 13-16 – BOSTON PARK PLAZA HOTEL, BOSTON, MA
What exciting innovations are on the horizon for Jewish life in the 21st century?
What are the most pressing issues facing our Reconstructionist communities?
Are you seeking new ideas and solutions? Do you have ideas to share?
Gather with Reconstructionists from across North America as we engage with experts and emerging leaders in the Jewish world.
Discuss new directions for our congregations, for Jewish education, and for the Next Generation of Judaism.
Explore implications for the Reconstructionist movement in the context of Jewish history, and in light of current events.
Celebrate Shabbat with services filled with ruach (spirit) and the opportunity for Torah study!
Hear from renowned Jewish historian Jonathan Sarna and a dynamic roster of speakers and panelists including Rabbi Hayim Herring, Rabbi Joy Levitt, Amy Sales, Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Jerry Silverman, Zach Teutsch, and Jonathan Woocher!
Check the JRF Convention web page for details soon at www.jrf.org/convention.
* CALL FOR WORKSHOP PROPOSALS *
Workshops at the 2008 JRF Convention will address the theme:
“Transformative Judaism for the 21st Century”
We welcome proposals addressing a broad range of topics, including but not limited to:
Adult Education * Camping * Congregational Schools
Effective Models of Decision Making * Ethical Kashrut
Fundraising * Growth and Communal Transitions
Israel * Leadership Development * Liturgy and Ritual
Planned Giving * Rabbi/Congregation Relations
Spirituality and Spiritual Practices * Strategic Planning
Sustainability * Text Study and Divrei Torah
The Arts in Jewish Community * Tikkun Olam * Youth
To propose a workshop session of 90 minutes in length, please download the workshop proposal form at www.jrf.org/convention and submit it by May 15 via e-mail to WorkshopProposals@jrf.org or via fax to (215) 885-5603, to the attention of Julia Tauber.
JRF’s new distance-learning program, PEARL: Providing Education and Resources for Leadership, has been a great success. More than 150 participants from almost half of our Reconstructionist congregations have registered to join us for one or more of these important conference calls. One participant shared her excitement: “Kol ha k’vod for a stimulating first PEARL session. The electronic pamphlet and the presentations and Q&A will be quite helpful, filled with excellent ideas.”
Join us over the coming months for calls on topics ranging from dues structures and marketing to governance and Reconstructionism:
CALLS TO DATE (INFORMATION PACKETS AND AUDIO ONLINE at www.jrf.org/PEARL-resources):
JRF’s Reconstructionist Press is excited to announce the publication of a revised addition of Etz Hayim We: Megillat Shir HaShirim, Lesson Plans and Resources for Teen & Adult Exploration of Song of Songs. This richly detailed, hands-on resource for Reconstructionist teen and adult exploration of Song of Songs is chock full of innovative approaches to biblical study, and particularly the themes of divine and human love.
The Megillat Shir HaShirim curriculum is divided into three units and each unit contains approximately 15 activities. The central unit is designed to stand alone and can be used effectively as a one-time introduction to Shir HaShirim and the Etz Hayim We Project during Pesach.
This 100-page, spiral-bound soft cover volume is just $15 each. To order, call 1-877-JRF-PUBS or e-mail email@example.com.
The first Passover Seder is April 19. Do you have A Night of Questions, a beautiful Reconstructionist Haggadah for each member of your family and for your guests? Check out this wonderful Haggadah offer from JRF’s Reconstructionist Press.
It is traditional to study the Megillat Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) during Passover, and JRF’s Reconstructionist Press is delighted to announce a newly revised edition of Etz Hayim We: Megillat Shir HaShirim, just in time for Pesach.
And have you experienced Siddur Kol Hano’ar, the wonderful, colorful Shabbat siddur for children? Whether for your synagogue, for friends and family, or for your own home, it makes a great gift!
A NIGHT OF QUESTIONS: A PASSOVER HAGGADAH
Rabbi Joy Levitt and Rabbi Michael Strassfeld, Eds.
Illustrated in full color by Jeffrey Schrier
Rooted in tradition, yet accessible to all, this beautifully illustrated volume is a rich resource for the Passover holiday and for your Seder. Softcover, 160 pp., $22.
JRF Members-only quantity orders: 1-11 copies $18 each; 12+ copies $15 each; 100+ copies $13 each. Special offer: Order 12 books and receive a cassette recording of 30 traditional and contemporary Passover songs as our gift! (Cassette and CD version sold separately.)
ETZ HAYIM WE: MEGILLAT SHIR HASHIRIM (SONG OF SONGS; REVISED EDITION)
Rabbi Jeffrey Schein, Project Director
Rabbi Erin Hirsh, Curriculum Writer
This richly detailed, hands-on resource for Reconstructionist teen and adult exploration of Song of Songs during Passover is chock full of innovative approaches to biblical study, and particularly the themes of divine and human love. Spiral-bound soft cover, 100 pp., $15 each.
SIDDUR KOL HANO’AR: THE VOICE OF CHILDREN
Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and Rabbi Jeffrey Schein
Illustrated in full color by Joani Rothenberg
This beautiful hardcover Shabbat prayer book for children ages 5-9 makes a wonderful gift for the whole family to share at home. $24.00 / $21.60 for JRF members. Bulk orders of 22 or more, $18.00 per siddur. Available now: Non-transliterated edition. New printing of the Transliterated edition available March 2008!
To order, call JRF’s Reconstructionist Press at 1-877-JRF-PUBS.
The JRF North American Leadership Series launches this year with a variety of specially designed events to help congregational leaders build strong, dynamic and growing communities. The first two initiatives are:
Camp JRF is filling up quickly! Make sure that your child has the summer of a lifetime at Camp JRF on the Aaron and Marjorie Ziegelman Campus in the Pocono Mountains. Over 300 campers are already registered. Register online at www.campjrf.org in the Parents section, or print the application and mail to our camp office. Camp JRF is the official summer camp of the Reconstructionist movement.
Anyone who would like to make a scholarship donation to help a Jewish child attend Camp JRF, please visit www.jrf.org and click on the Donate Now button.
Please consider either making a donation to the Art Rotman Memorial Scholarship Fund or the general scholarship fund for Camp JRF. To learn more about the Rotman Scholarship, visit http://jrfplannedgiving.org/Rotman.
For more information, call the Camp JRF office at 877-CAMP-JRF (877-226-7573).
Planning an annual Shabbaton or retreat? Consider holding it at Camp JRF on the Aaron and Marjorie Ziegelman Campus. This beautiful facility in the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains is now available for rental for our JRF congregations, boards, religious schools, JRF regional programs, teens, and the like.
For more information, please contact the Camp JRF office at 877-CAMP JRF (877-226-7573).
On April 11 - 13, 8th - 12th graders from JRF congregations across North America will have the opportunity to attend the exciting No’ar Hadash North American Teen Kallah. The weekend is a great opportunity for teens to meet other Reconstructionist youth, have fun, take part in experiential Jewish learning, sing and dance, hang out, and be part of our exciting and growing youth movement. And, they can do all of this while exploring historic Philadelphia!
More information (including registration) about the kallah, and about No’ar Hadash, is available at www.noarhadash.org.
Join Reconstructionist teens from across North America for an amazing month of exploring Israel! Registration is now open for Summer 2008! The trip will run from July 6 – Aug. 3 and is open to entering high school juniors. More than thirty teen leaders are already registered – this could be your summer!
Anyone who would like to make a scholarship donation to help a Jewish teen participate in the No’ar Hadash Israel Experience, please visit www.jrf.org and click on the Donate Now button. Please consider either making a donation to the Leonard and Phyllis Friend Memorial Scholarship Fund or the general scholarship fund for No’ar Hadash.
With the enthusiasm around JRF’s Omer Learning Initiative, as well as the solid response of JRF congregations in the Climate Change Initiative, JRF is continues to deepen its greening work with member communities next year.
Our hope is to motivate and educate our congregations in sustainable practices, with the goal of reaching 100 percent participation in the years ahead, recognizing those JRF communities who excel at sustainable practices at the JRF Convention in Boston, 2008.
Information on the Sustainable Synagogue Initiative can be found on the JRF website’s environment pages at www4.jrf.org/green-call and www4.jrf.org/climate.
For more information contact Rabbi Shawn Zevit, director of outreach and tikkun olam, SZevit@jrf.org.
When: Wednesday, April 30
Where: Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, 303 Dodge Ave., Evanston, IL
Registration and tour of the congregation’s new building at 5:45 pm
Cost: $100 per person.
The JRF Midwest event will be held in Evanston, IL, on April 30. In honoring three generations of Saposniks – Rubin, Alan and Isaac – the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation is essentially honoring two JRF congregations - Skokie, IL congregation Ezra Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation (EHNT) – one of the first congregations in the Reconstructionist movement, where Rubin Saposnik has been actively involved for many years – and JRC (Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation), which under Alan Saposnik’s leadership is becoming the first Reconstructionist synagogue to receive a LEED Green Environmental Certification.
The program will feature the youth of the Reconstructionist movement, whom Isaac Saposnik has served as national director of No’ar Hadash—the Reconstructionist Youth Movement and as assistant director of Camp JRF.
To register or make a tribute, visit www.jrf.org/midwest/saposnik.
When: Sunday March 30, 1-5:30 pm
Where: West End Synagogue in Manhattan.
The JRF NY/NJ region is thrilled to announce the Kickoff event for Kehillah Kedoshah, a program to support leaders in working on outreach and growth. Through a generous grant from UJA Federation, the NY/NJ Region will be consulting with and providing training sessions for all area Reconstructionist synagogues.
To register for the kickoff or to learn more about Kehillah Kedoshah, contact Hannah Greenstein, JRF NY/NJ Outreach Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When: April 11-13
Where: Butzel Conference Center in Ortonville, MI
Need a break? Want to re-energize your Shabbat practice? Could your family use some time to relax and be playful together? Come celebrate Shabbat with members of Reconstructionist congregations throughout the Midwest at the JRF Midwest Region Shabbaton.
This gathering for singles and families is conveniently located at the Butzel Conference Center in Ortonville, MI, just an hour’s drive from Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Lansing. The center is located on 1,300 acres of beautiful woodland overlooking a scenic lake with hiking, basketball, tennis, mini golf and more.
Register before March 28 and get the Early Bird Rate!
Learn more and register now at www.jrf.org/midwest_shabbaton. Help spread the word – when you visit the website, please download and post the two-sided event flyer.
For more information, contact Rabbi Renee Bauer at email@example.com.
When: Tuesday, April 8, curtain at 7 pm
Where: Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre
On April 8, the New York/New Jersey Region of JRF is taking its annual Evening of Celebration to the stage. The group will be among the first groups to see South Pacific! Following the performance, Rina Awards “Honoring Those Who Bring Joy and Creativity to Our Congregations” in the NJ/NJ Region will be presented. A desert reception will follow.
The evening of celebration supports and sustains the growth of the Reconstructionist movement and its congregations throughout North America. Seating is limited! For details and reservations go to www.jrf.org or call the JRF NY/NJ Region office at (212) 870 2483.
When: March 31, 8-3:30 pm
Where: Hilton Philadelphia City Ave.
JRF is proud to be a collaborating sponsor of the upcoming "Healthy Generations: Mobilizing our Community to Prevent Jewish Genetic Diseases" on March 31.
The conference is presented by the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network in collaboration with the Jewish Family & Children’s organizations of Greater Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey and Delaware.
Bet Am Shalom Synagogue in White Plains, NY, enjoyed its 15th annual Judaica Crafts Show in early March.
Colorado’s Beth Evergreen synagogue is hosting a casino night benefit event on April 5, at 7:30 pm, for the Denver Children’s Hospital. To be held at the Hiwan Golf Club, 30671 Clubhouse Lane in Evergreen, it will include a virtual trip to Vegas with gaming, entertainment, silent auction, dancing, sweets, cocktails and prizes.
Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller will perform her own compositions at a gala concert at Bet Am Shalom Synagogue (295 Soundview Ave., White Plains, NY) on
Sunday, May 18, at 8 pm. In addition to serving Bet Am Shalom as chazan, Cantor Schiller is a professor of cantorial arts at the Hebrew Union College. She is a
nationally known composer and a frequently featured soprano soloist with the Zamir Chorales of New York and Boston, the Western Wind Ensemble and Sine Nomine.
On March 9, Mishkan Ha’am of New York celebrated its 10-year anniversary. With a membership expanding from Riverdale through Westchester’s Rivertowns, the community has grown to include Shabbat services for all areas, a Hebrew school, adult-ed program, social action activities and innovating programming (including yoga and meditation).
Ten years ago, Yonkers residents Joey Parnes and Ellen Tattelman first ran a notice in local newspapers inviting area residents who were “looking for a synagogue and haven’t found the right fit” to meet.
“We were looking to create a Reconstructionist group that would be egalitarian, participatory and open to varying viewpoints,” says Parnes. “Joyously, we found
others who were looking for the same thing!”
For more information, visit www.mishkanhaam.org or call (914) 478-4996.
Congregation Kehilat Shalom of Belle Mead, NJ, will officially install Rabbi Susan Falk at a ceremony to be held April 25 at 7:30 pm at the synagogue. The service
will feature Rabbi Jacob Staub of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, as well as the Kol Ahava and Children’s Choir.
Rabbi Falk was appointed to the pulpit of the shul (which was formerly the Jewish Community Center of Belle Mead) last August after an extensive search by an internal search committee.
A native of Bergen County, Rabbi Falk received a bachelor’s in English literature from Barnard College, and her rabbinical degree from the Reconstructionist
Rabbinical College. She worked previously as hospice director for the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia.
Although her installation at Kehilat Shalom isn’t happening until this month, she is not new to the community. In October through January, she led the congregation in a special Sunday-morning series entitled “Judaism and the Environment, From Genesis to Eco-Kashrut,” where they explored everything from the
environmental implications of the creation story to the issues of traditional versus eco-kashrut.
For more information about the community, visit www.ksnj.org or call the temple office at (908) 359-0420.
Bet Am Shalom Synagogue in White Plains, NY, is happy to announce its participation in Tuv Ha’Aretz – a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program launched in partnership with Hazon, the Jewish environmental organization. Tuv Ha’Aretz (which means both “good for the land” and “good from the land”) aims to promote agricultural sustainability by supporting local, organic farmers. The congregation held a “Meet the Farmer” night on March 10 to introduce the program to congregants.
Ye’asher koach to Kehillath Shalom of Cold Spring Harbor, NY, for its work with Project H.O.P.E. (Home Ownership Program for Everyone) to provide low-cost
loans to buy and rehabilitate one to four family homes in Huntington, Long Island. After three long years of planning, demolition, new house plans and applying
for permits, construction was started on an H.O.P.E. house funded in part through congregants’ contributions that will soon be home to a family.
Darchei Noam of Toronto has moved to its new two-story building. For 15 years, the congregation had rented space at the local B’nai Brith headquarters. The official move was celebrated on Jan. 27, when the 300 members of the congregation, led by Rabbi Tina Grimberg, carried the Torah in a procession from their old address to the new synagogue.
Congregation Or Hadash, in the Philadelphia suburb Fort Washington, unveiled a unique Megillat Esther on March 16, commissioned from a scribe and incorporating drawings made by students in its religious school. The sofer, Reconstructionist Rabbi Kevin Hale, used a computer program to graft the children’s images onto fine rice paper that was then affixed to parchment. Hale, who lives in Leeds, MA, taught a crash course in scroll writing for the kids, as part of the special event.
Dr. Lori Lefkovitz, an endowed professor of Gender and Judaism at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia, was a guest presenter recently at the annual Jewish-Christian-Muslim conference at the University of Toledo. She was among a panel of three women who addressed the issue of women’s role in religious leadership.
This section is a quick-reference summary of JRF events announced above.
2>March – May
PEARL: Providing Education and Resources for Leadership. For details and to view the full schedule of classes see www.jrf.org/PEARL.
For more information e-mail Isaac Saposnik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, March 30, 1-5:30 pm
JRF New York/New Jersey Kehillah Kedoshah Kickoff Event
The JRF NY/NJ region is thrilled to announce the Kickoff event for Kehillah Kedoshah, a program to support leaders in working on outreach and growth. To register or learn more about Kehillah Kedoshah contact Hannah Greenstein, JRF NY/NJ Outreach Coordinator at email@example.com.
Tuesday, April 8
JRF New York/New Jersey Region Evening of Celebration
Production of South Pacific and presentation of the Rina Awards at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre, New York, NY. Seating is limited! For details and reservations go to http://jrf.org/ny-nj-eoc-2008 or call the JRF NY/NJ Region office at (212) 870-2483.
April 11-April 13
JRF Midwest Region Shabbaton
Butzel Conference Center in Ortonville, MI. Learn more and register now at www.jrf.org/midwest_shabbaton. For more information contact Rabbi Renee Bauer
May 4 – May 6
The JRF Leadership Institute for Rabbis and Presidents: Maximizing Your Effectiveness as a Leadership Team
Pearlstone Retreat Center, Baltimore area. This event is part of the JRF North American Leadership Series. For more information e-mail Shoshi Braman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JRF wants to hear about news and upcoming events at your congregation!
Contact Communications Director Lisa Tuttle at email@example.com today.