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Ma Nishma - JRF News for February 2008

January 21, 2008 - 4:27pm -- Anonymous (not verified)

[img_assist|nid=1353|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=120|height=120][img_assist|nid=528|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=240|height=54]Dear [i]Ma Nishma[/i] Subscriber,

I'm happy to deliver to your email doorstep the latest issue of [i]Ma Nishma[/i] in our new format. If you are reading this in an email and it doesn't look right, read it on the web at:

Now everyone can subscribe to [i]Ma Nishma[/i]. Register at the JRF website at then click "Manage your JRF e-newsletter subscriptions" at the top left of the home page to subscribe.

Newsletter editors and webmasters are invited to lift content for a JRF News page or to use selected stories and announcements in your congregational newsletter and on your website.

Feel free to forward this to anyone you think would enjoy reading [i]Ma Nishma[/i].

Download this issue of Ma Nishma as an MS Word document, for easier cut/paste into synagogue newsletters.


Lisa Kelvin Tuttle

JRF Communications Director

February 2008 / Shevat - Adar 5768

Ma Nishma: The latest news from the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation

[b]In This Issue[/b]

  • JRF North American Leadership Series Launches
  • Camp JRF Announces Camp Capital Campaign Chair
  • Register for the JRF Midwest Region Shabbaton
  • JRF NY-NJ Region Evening of Celebration
  • Contribute Content to the JRF Web Site
  • Register for Camp JRF!
  • New Donor Stories on JRF Planned Giving Website
  • Hold a Shabbaton at Camp JRF
  • Calling All Reconstructionist Teens
  • JRF's Sustainable Synagogue Initiative
  • Upcoming Events

Introducing the JRF North American Leadership Series

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 three initiatives are:

  • [b]March 2, 2008 — Congregational Growth: The Dynamics of Membership, Outreach, and Financial Resources[/b]. All JRF affiliates are invited to send representatives to this special one-day leadership workshop with Barry Nove, JRF Director of Development and Rabbi Shawn Zevit, JRF Director of Outreach & External Affairs/Tikkun Olam. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Ezra Habonim — The Niles Township Jewish Congregation, Skokie, IL. Tuition of $72 includes breakfast, lunch and materials. Register online now at For more info, contact Shoshi Braman at 215.885.5601, ext. 10 or
  • [b]May 4-6, 2008 — The JRF Leadership Institute for Rabbis and Presidents[/b], facilitated by JRF’s Executive Vice President, Dr. Carl Sheingold, and Esther Perel, is designed to help congregational rabbis and their presidents maximize their effectiveness as a leadership team. For more information, e-mail Shoshi Braman at or call 215.885.5601, ext. 10.
  • [b]PEARL: Providing Education and Resources for Leadership[/b] is a series of real-time, distance-learning classes (via teleconference) focused on congregational growth and Reconstructionist leadership launching early in 2008. [i]JRF is pleased to provide the PEARL series free-of-charge to all JRF affiliates.[/i] It is our belief that by providing congregational leaders with the resources and experiences needed for growth, each of our communities – and the Reconstructionist movement as a whole – will benefit. See a full listing of PEARL offerings at For more information, e-mail Isaac Saposnik at or call 215.885.5601, ext. 12.

Camp JRF Announces Camp Capital Campaign Chair

JRF is delighted to welcome [b]Archie Gottesman[/b] as the new Chair of Camp JRF's Camp Capital Campaign. She and her family are active members of Congregation Beth Hatikvah in Summit, NJ. Archie and her husband, Gary DeBode, are major donors of the campaign and their two eldest daughters, Lilli and Sophie, are Camp JRF campers. Archie is an executive vice president and owner of Edison Properties in Newark, NJ. Archie has a long history of involvement in philanthropic activities in the Jewish community and beyond, including the United Jewish Appeal and Israel Bonds, and serving on the boards of the Animal Haven Shelter in New York City, the Newark Police Foundation, the Gottesman Family Foundation, and Edison's Foundation: The Newark Charitable Trust.

Other news is that Camp JRF is anticipating an important grant award from the Foundation for Jewish Camping of $75,000 for hiring a master planner for Camp JRF for Summer 2008. Also, we will be participating in the Raise Your Match Challenge Grant initiated by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, benefitting Camp JRF, to launch this spring.

For further information about supporting Camp JRF, contact the Development Department at or 212.885.5601, ext. 19.

Register for the JRF Midwest Region Shabbaton

When: April 11-13
Where: Butzel Conference Center in Ortonville, MI

Join the fun, learning, and community and experience a memorable Shabbat with members of Reconstructionist congregations throughout the Midwest at the [b]JRF Midwest Region Shabbaton[/b]. The gathering for singles and families is conveniently located at the Butzel Conference Center in Ortonville, MI, only an hour's drive from Detroit, Ann Arbor, or Lansing.

There will be programming for children and families and, of course, we will celebrate Shabbat together in style!

The Butzel Conference Center is located on 1,300 acres of beautiful woodland overlooking a scenic lake. Recreational services include hiking, tennis, basketball, volleyball and miniature golf.

Learn more and register now at

For more information, contact Rabbi Renee Bauer at

JRF New York-New Jersey Region Evening of Celebration

On April 8, 2008, the New York-New Jersey Region of JRF is taking its annual Evening of Celebration to the stage.

We are planning a wonderful evening at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre where we'll be among the first groups to see [b]South Pacific[/b]! Rina Awards “Honoring Those Who Bring Joy and Creativity to Our Congregations” in the NJ-NJ Region will be presented following the performance.

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, April 8th, for it will be “some enchanted evening”!

• Tuesday, April 8, 2008
• Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre
• Curtain 7:00 pm
• Honoring & Dessert Reception to follow

This Evening of Celebration supports and sustains the growth of the Reconstructionist movement and its congregations throughout North America.

For details and reservations go to or call the JRF NY-NJ Region office at 212-870-2483.

Learn How to Contribute Content to the JRF Website

The JRF website opens the way to experiencing a truly interactive, participatory, 24/7 Reconstructionist community – and you can be a part of it! Now you can register at the site to post exciting things going on at your congregation, best practices, resources, upcoming events, and more.

Watch and listen to a 5 minute "screencast" from Rabbi Shai Gluskin about how and why to contribute material to the JRF web site at

Register for Camp JRF

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. Register online at 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.

For more information, call the Camp JRF office at 877-CAMP-JRF (877-226-7573).

New Donor Stories on JRF’s Planned Giving Website

New donor stories are going up every month. Read the new stories from partnering congregations Bnai Keshet in Montclair, NJ, and Beth El in Bennington, VT. Perhaps the next one will be from your congregation! You can make a difference for your community and/or the Reconstructionist movement. Go to and click on Donor Stories. For further information contact Barry Nove, JRF director of development, at and 215-885-5601, ext. 19.

Hold your next Shabbaton at Camp JRF!

Planning a 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).

Calling all Reconstructionist Teens!

No'ar Hadash, the Reconstructionist youth movement, is excited to announce these upcoming events:

[b]Western Region[/b]
Pacific Northwest Teen Kallah - Feb. 15 - 17
Olympia, WA

[b]Midwest Region[/b]
Midwest Teen Kallah - Feb. 15 - 17
Grades 6-12
Camp Henry Horner in Ingleside, IL
Please register by February 1

[b]North American Teen Kallah, April 11 – 13 in Philadelphia.[/b]

For more information, visit, e-mail us at, or call (215) 885-5601.

Register for the No’ar Hadash Israel Experience

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 – August 3 and is open to entering high school juniors. Last summer over 30 teen leaders took part. This could be your summer!

For more information visit or contact Jessica Shimberg at or 215-885-5601 x 47.

Together We Can Make a Difference: JRF's Sustainable Synagogue Initiative

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 and

For more information contact Rabbi Shawn Zevit, Director of Outreach and Tikkun Olam,

Kol Hakavod!

[b]Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore[/b] and its cantor, Eric Schulmiller, are getting kudos for their many actions "greening" RSNS. Last year, Schulmiller – who also serves as programming liaison to the synagogue's social action committee and is the congregation’s teen coordinator – encouraged the congregation to join Tuv Ha'Aretz, Hazon's Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that enables the Jewish community to support local, sustainable farming. [i]The Jerusalem Report[/i] this past October featured a photo of the RSNS teen group on its cover and quoted Schulmiller about why a relationship with a local organic farm attracted synagogue members: "If the overriding principle of kashrut is being aware of what you're consuming and what's fit to be consumed, the next logical step in our day and age would be to translate kashrut into not just ritual fitness, but ethical fitness," he said. RSNS is among the first U.S. synagogues to be "green energy driven," or carbon neutral!

[b]Temple Beth Shalom[/b], our affiliate in Mechanicsburg, PA, honored Mort and Myrna Rubenstein as recipients of their 2007 Josh Jacobson Memorial Award. Josh Jacobson, for whom the award is named, was a charter member of the Temple and a member of the Interim By-Laws Committee, which set the foundation for its future. Because he was deeply concerned about the people and the Temple, the award was established following his death in 1971. Myrna and Mort are both members of Temple Beth Shalom’s executive board and contribute to the vitality and strength of the community they love so much. Mazel tov Mort and Myrna!

[b]Congregation Bet Haverim[/b] of Atlanta, GA, gathered for a special Oneg Shabbat on January 11th to bid farewell to and celebrate the retirement of Jeanne Mangham, Bet Haverim’s beloved administrator and right hand to Rabbi Joshua Lesser. Jeanne was honored for her seven years of dedicated service and the multiple contributions she made to the congregation. We know she will be greatly missed!

[b]The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation[/b] (JRC) of Evanston, IL, has the distinction of being the first LEED-certified green synagogue in the United States. The process was described this past November in a terrific article in Zeek, “Reimagining the Tabernacle: America’s First Green Synagogue.” You can read it at

[b][i]Ye’asher kochechem[/i] to all the JRF congregations engaging in social action and community service and whose efforts inspire us all throughout the year.[/b]

Upcoming Events

[b]Beginning January 30
PEARL: Providing Education and Resources for Leadership[/b]. For details and to view the full schedule of classes see or e-mail Isaac Saposnik at

[b]Sunday, March 2, 9 am to 4 pm
Congregational Growth: The Dynamics of Membership, Outreach and Financial Resources.[/b] This workshop, held in Skokie, IL, is part of the JRF North American Leadership Series. Register online now at
For more information e-mail Shoshi Braman at

[b]Tuesday, April 8
New York-New Jersey Region Evening of Celebration[/b]
Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre, New York, NY.
For details and reservations go to or call the JRF NY-NJ Region office at 212-870-2483.

[b]Friday, April 11 through Sunday, April 13
JRF Midwest Region Shabbaton[/b]
Butzel Conference Center in Ortonville, MI. Learn more and register now at
For more information contact Rabbi Renee Bauer at

[b]Sunday, May 4 – Monday, May 6
The JRF Leadership Institute for Rabbis and Presidents: Maximizing Your Effectiveness as a Leadership Team[/b]
Pearlstein Retreat Center, Baltimore area. This event is part of the JRF North American Leadership Series. For more information e-mail Shoshi Braman at

Tell us about it!

[b]JRF wants to hear about news and upcoming events
at your congregation!

Contact Communications Director Lisa Tuttle at today.

Read it on the Web @[/b]

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