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:
The Reconstructionist Minyan of St. Louis will be dedicating its newly received Holocaust Survival Torah Scroll on Oct. 28 at 11 am. The public is welcome to the event.
The Minyan received the Torah in August and immediately began to use it for services, including on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The Torah is on permanent loan to the Minyan from the Westminster Synagogue, London UK.
The Minyan's Scroll was among 1,800 others that had belonged to large and small Czechoslovakian Jewish communities destroyed during World War II. These are desecrated Torahs since they were either purposely damaged by the Nazi occupiers or suffered neglect and were unprotected from the ravages of climate exposure before they were rescued. The survivor Torahs were consolidated at the Prague Michle Synagogue and then brought to England for repair in 1964.
Rabbi Steven Gutow will deliver the keynote address at the event, to be held at the Dorchester Apartments Building, 665 South Skinker Blvd. in Clayton. In addition, the ceremony will include readings from the week's Parsha, Haye Sarah; a 1945 letter written by Richard Feder, rabbi of Kolin, Bohemia and, after World War II, the chief rabbi of Czechoslovakia; and an excerpt from the Holocaust memoir of Hana Greenfield, Fragments of Memory.
For more information, call (314) 725-0361.
Shir Hadash of Milwaukee is slating the upcoming "shemita" or "Sabbatical" year as a "green" year for its congregation. The central theme of the year will be to explore how we as Jews can give our stressed and endangered world a rest. An ad hoc committee chaired by two Shir Hadash members will oversee and coordinate events, classes, educational and ritual opportunities all tied to the yearly round of holidays and holy days of the Jewish calendar. read more »
“Death Comes For The Rabbi – An Afternoon of Listening and Learning”
KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation
1100 East Hyde Park Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60615-2810
Come and participate in an unprecedented event combining music and Jewish text study. In a trans-denominational Community Beit Midrash (Study Hall), with Reconstructionist, Reform, Orthodox and Conservative teachers, we will encounter Yehoshua ben Levi, the rabbi who became dead without dying. We will experience Rabbi Yehoshua’s struggle with the Angel of Death both through a Talmudic text (Ketubot 77b) and through a live performance, by the Millennium Chamber Players, of “Floodway,” a piece based on that text written by the renowned contemporary Israeli-American composer Amnon Wolman, who will join us for the afternoon.
This program is free of charge, thanks to the generosity of a number of organizations and individual donors. Child care will be available. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please call Dan Cedarbaum at 847-492-5200.
Program sponsored by:
KAM ISAIAH ISRAEL CONGREGATION
THE JEWISH RECONSTRUCTIONIST FEDERATION
THE NEWBERGER HILLEL CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
THE CHICAGO BOARD OF RABBIS
Download and print the event flyer, available as an attachment . . . help spread the word!
This year, the Muslim holiday of Ramadan began on the first night of Rosh Hashana.
The Detroit News reported how Jews and Muslims in the Detroit area are using this rare occurrence to build bridges between their communities.
Read the attached report of a Muslim-Jewish Friday night dinner hosted by members of the Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Havurah.
Congregation Shaarei Shamayim in Madison, WI is pleased to announce that Rabbi Marcia Prager and Hazzan Jack Kessler will be leading a joyous, soulful weekend November 2-4, in Madison. All JRF members are invited to Join Shaarei Shamayim in an inspirational Shabbat of singing, learning, and exploring together in community.
Rabbi Prager is a vibrant Reconstructionist/ Jewish Renewal teacher, storyteller, artist, and therapist. She is the author of the book, The Path of Blessing, an exploration of the profound spiritual wisdom that lies in the Jewish practice of blessing. She is also the creator of The Weekday Amidah in Guided Imagery, a deck of 20 exquisitely hand illustrated cards which use guided meditations through the transformative blessings of this ancient prayer practice.
Hazzan Kessler is a traditionally trained cantor and director of two Jewish music ensembles. He has been described as a one-man force of nature in Jewish music. His most recent CD is Blue Suede Jews, featuring The Klingon Klezmers. A lyric baritone, he has performed opera, oratorio, and premiered new works, in addition to his ongoing career as a singer of Hazzanut, the sacred cantorial art. He is the dean of the Cantorial department of the professional framing program of ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal.
For more information and to register, please contact Celeste at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
If you have a sapling in your hand, and someone should say to you that the Messiah has come, stay and complete the planting, and then go to greet the Messiah (Avot de Rabbi Nathan, 31b) read more »
Our native woodland and native prairie project started at Congregation Beth Shalom one year ago. The plan has four phases, each expected to last one year: