Sitting in a large conference room, I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket. This was an opportunity too good to pass. It was my 16-year-old daughter, undoubtedly calling for a ride home from a sleepover.
“I can’t talk,” I said quietly into the phone. “I’m waiting for the President to come in.” As in George W. Bush. read more »
It was mid-afternoon on Thursday, June 14 this past week and I was making small talk in a large conference room in the Executive Office Building with 47 other presidents of major Jewish organizations. We were on a daylong discussion-a-thon with the leaders of the House, culminating with a briefing with the president. The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations had been invited to present our views and hear our leaders' thoughts on foreign policy issues, primarily relating to the Middle East.
The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, at a meeting of its national board June 2-4, enthusiastically welcomed news of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA)'s decision on June 4 to include JRF as a partner organization, making the Reconstructionist organization the first national agency to be added to the JCPA in decades. The JRF represents more than 100 Reconstructionist congregations and havurot across the United States and Canada.
Here's an MS Word version of Ma Nishma: News from the JRF for July '07.
In This Issue:
JCPA Welcomes JRF
Synagogue Greening Initiative
Camp JRF Needs Administrator
Help a Child Go to Camp
Omer Initiative a Great Success
Camp JRF Needs Siddurim
RT Seeks Artists
June Walker Assumes Leadership
Action in Darfur
Hunger Rally Held June 11
“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.
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On Sunday April 29th, the Reconstructionist Congregation of Detroit (RCD) celebrated the dedication of their new sanctuary in the City of Detroit. RCD, which was incorporated in the year 2000, moved recently to the new location when their former home at Christ Church Detroit began an extensive restoration project. read more »
U.S. Senator Carl Levin, who is a founding member with his wife Barbara, provided the keynote address at the dedication ceremony and stressed the importance of family life at RCD, one of two synagogues located within the City of Detroit today. Senator Levin also mentioned specifically RCD's providing yearly services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur—thus guaranteeing that High Holiday services are offered in Detroit in an unbroken line of continuity since 1851.
Reconstructionist Ruach can happen anywhere. On the last weekend in April, it happened at the Perlstein Conference Center in Wisconsin. read more »
45 women, including four rabbis, plus the Scholar-in-Residence, Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, spent about 42 hours on an island in time, studying, davenning (praying, Jewish style), eating, singing, dancing and enjoying the weekend. There were women from all sizes of Jewish communities, professional women and those who have retired, from age 23 to age 89, of all shapes and sizes.
Today is the 8th anniversary of the Columbine school killings, and a few days after the horrific massacre at Virginia Tech. The airwaves and print media and cyberspace are filled with discussions of could it have been prevented, what to do now, talk of mental health services at universities, gun control, campus security. read more »
What is weighing on my mind and spirit, however, has more to do with the culture of violence with which we are surrounded in America, and in the world. In some ways, the horror in Blacksburg, Virginia, was an aberration and a “first.” In other ways it was simply one more eruption of the violence with which we are assaulted daily—from the streets of Boston to the marketplaces of Baghdad.