One of the themes that infused the entire five days from the JRF Board meeting through the four days of convention, was the leadership transition from Dan Cedarbaum to Bob Barkin.
Dan Cedarbaum served two two-year terms as President of JRF. He was a strong leader and advocate for the strong development of the nascent Camp JRF. He played a major role in spearheading its fund raising. Dan's intellectual interest in Judaism and Reconstructionism were palpable during hes tenure, expressed in writing articles for RT and the Reconstructionist and speaking around the country at Reconstructionist congregations. Dan is passionate about his ideas of taking halachah (Jewish Law) and Jewish ritual seriously. He has spoken often on these topics. read more »
On the 7th of Cheshvan, Sunday October 29, Congregation Darchei Noam celebrated the groundbreaking on its new building in Toronto, Canada. Dignitaries including two members of parliament, the Minister of Community Safety, and JRF's Senior Consultant, Director of Outreach & External Affiliations Rabbi Shawn Zevit added to the large gathering of the community young and old.
The building will be 20,000 square feet, with stone and glass exterior and is expected to be completed by next fall.
Rabbi Grinberg said, "Our commitment to social justice will be felt in every stone.
Congregation president Michael Mitchell summed what makes Darchei Noam so succesful:
Our attraction has been that as Reconstructionist Jews, we have a deep respect and honour for tradition, and the desire tostudy that tradition, to study Torah. At the same time, we believe that Jewish religious culture and values are constantly evolving through the generations, and we have to be creative and thoughtful in adapting our tradition to ensure it is relevant and meaningful to us and to our children.
Michael Mitchell's complete speech as well as an article about the event in the Toronto Jewish Tribune are available in the attachments to this story.
Here is an update on JRC's exciting green synagogue building project. A few weeks ago we officially began demolition on our old building. Though this building had to come down, many of our members were distressed to see our spiritual home of 25 years in such a state.
Currently it is nothing more than a hole in the ground as we prepare to lay the foundation with recycled concrete from our old facade.
Bob Barkin of Adat Shalom in Bethesda Maryland is set to become the JRF president this Friday at the plenary session of the 41st Convention of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation.
The JRF Board meeting which occurred yesterday was presided over by outgoing Board President Daniel Cedarbaum. read more »
JRF, in keeping with the movement's resolution on the environment, our commitment as a Jewish People and as stewards of the health and welfare of the planet, has joined the Climate Change Campaign to address the global warming crisis. The campaign is sponsored by the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), with support from the Religious Action Center (RAC). This is one of those calls to action that can change how North American Jewry responds to the daunting environmental problems confronting us and future generations. read more »
The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, with the support of the RRA and RRC, is participating in a major effort to bring pressure on the U.S. government to take immediate action to stop the atrocities and impoverishment in the Darfur region of Sudan.
The Save Darfur Coalition is planning a week of prayer and action in September, leading up to an international day of action for Darfur. These events coincide with the opening of the 61st General Assembly of the United Nations in New York City. There will be a rally in New York on Sunday, September 17, 2006 from 2-5PM featuring international leaders and top musical performers united in the effort to stop the genocide in Darfur.
JRF is a member of the coalition (supported by AJWS and JCPA), along with the RRA and is encouraging our member congregations to show strong participation in this effort, as we did last April. JRF will be organizing nationally and regionally again to aid in this effort. read more »
In the fall of 2006, RRC will introduce a distance-learning program.
The first offering will be Our Ancestors’ Search for God:The Many Faces of God in the Bible, taught by Tamar Kamionkowski, Ph.D, RRC’s dean and chair of the Department of Biblical Civilization.
The course will begin October 8 and will contain six sessions. Most of the course will be taught asynchronously, allowing people to participate at times convenient for them. To allow for direct contact with the instructor, there will be some synchronous (real-time) content as well. The cost for the course will be $75 for members of JRF congregations and $150 for others.
A second course, The Call to Leadership: Ancient Models, also taught by Kamionkowski, will be offered in the spring of 2007.