by Michele Gelman and Sheila Gold Michele Gelman is a native of New Orleans. By comparison, Sheila Gold is a relative “newcomer,” having been actively involved with her congregation for only 23 years. Despite this difference, these two women share many things: friendship, commitment to their respective synagogues, devotion to the Jewish community, and a love of pedicures. Michele: We met nearly seven years ago. We were both enrolled in a two-year leadership development program through the New Orleans Federation and a mutual friend, before we enrolled in the Federation program, invited us to dinner at the Chef’s Table at [...]
The Union for Reform Judaism is accepting donations to assist in the wake of the deadly tornado in Oklahoma. The URJ will allocate funding received to agencies on the ground that are best equipped to respond to this disaster. We’re also working closely with our congregations in the affected region to assure the safety of their congregants, their neighbors, and their structures and to determine next steps in relief work. URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs said in a statement released today, “We are numb with grief, and yet inspired by the heroic resilience of the people of Oklahoma. Our thoughts [...]
by Sharon Mann Editor’s Note: This post is the first of two about Congregation Emet VeShalom. The complementary post will appear tomorrow. Reform Judaism and religious pluralism, which are taken for granted in the United States, are not axiomatic in Israel. As a member of Emet VeShalom—a Reform congregation in Nahariya, a peripheral area of Israel eight miles from Lebanon’s border—I know maintaining a non-Orthodox congregation is fraught with challenges. At present, one major challenge facing ours is that we do not have a rabbi serving as spiritual leader of our community. Our members are facing this challenge by stepping [...]
“Camp Newman helps us feel closer to God”. This is how I opened my dialogue with our 2013 leadership staff at our annual Spring retreat. You could have imagined the response. Even some of our Rabbinic students felt uneasy about this language and its timing (opening conversation). “God” talk is scary for many of us.