Last week, Cantor Lipton and I, as well as TYGRS President Emma Freeman and TYGRS Vice President Daniella Sklarz were amongst 6,000 committed Reform Jews, lay leaders, professionals, clergy, and congregants alike who gathered in our nation’s capital for the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) Biennial. While every two years clergy and members of Reform congregations join for up to a week of stimulating workshops and important discussions relating to trends in congregational life, this was undoubtedly a most amazing conference.
Washington D.C. was certainly a most appropriate place for the Biennial as we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the RAC (Religious Action Center of the Reform Movement) – the political, legislative, and social action arm of our movement. How exhilarating it was to spend a day with the RAC viewing footage of a Torah scroll presented to President John F. Kennedy in 1961 as well as leading rabbis marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Indeed, the RAC serves as the prophetic voice of our movement, working to correct injustices both within our nation and across the globe. As we know, the RAC champions so many important causes, including combating world hunger, disease, and societal ills.
Perhaps the most exciting moment of the conference was when President Obama came to speak. Touching on pressing concerns and ideals both central to Progressive Judaism and our nation, the President applauded our 250 young people representing NFTY (National Federation of Temple Youth of North America) for their dedication to “tikun olam,” the healing of our world. This fit in quite nicely, as both outgoing URJ President Rabbi Eric Yoffie and incoming URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs discussed how youth engagement must be a primary concern within congregational life.
Surely there is much more to share, and much to be implemented into GRS. I look forward to working with you, my congregational family, as we integrate the creativity of the Biennial into GRS. And, of course, I thank all of you for enabling me to experience this most enlightening week.
Shabbat Service Friday, December 23, 5:00pm
Please join Rabbi Sklarz for a Shabbat service, followed by an Oneg Shabbat. Please not the time change, 5:00pm!
As December is coming to a close, it's not too early to remind everyone that the first Shabbat of every month, we have a Family Shabbat Service, followed by a pot-luck dinner, and everyone is invited!
If you would like to participate in the dinner, please RSVP to Louise Salzer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, those with January birthdays will be called to the bimah for a special blessing.
While Rabbi Sklarz is at the URJ Biennial in Washington, D.C., please join us for a Choir Shabbat service, led by Rabbi Robert Rothman, Rabbi Emeritus, Community Synagogue of Rye. The service will be followed by an Oneg Shabbat generously sponsored by Bill and Laura Grad.
Is the "Holiday Season" a time of struggle for you and your family? Do you wrestle with how to follow your sense of religious integrity while being sensitive to those you love? Have you developed "solutions" that you would be willing to share?
Contemporary living has given rise to difficult questions. While there are no "right" or "wrong" answers, Rabbi Andrew Sklarz, MSW, will wear his social worker hat and facilitate a discussion on the December Dilemma. Within a seminar format, GRS members and guests will be invited to air their concerns and share what has successfully worked for them.
Rabbi Andrew R. Sklarz, MSW
Please join us as we celebrate our Family Shabbat Service, where we'll hear our youth choir, B'nai Shir sing, and December birthdays will receive a special blessing, followed by a pot luck dinner and an Oneg Shabbat generously sponsored by Rabbi Andrew and Susan Sklarz.
Bring a main course, side dish, salad, dessert or drinks, then dine in style with your family and GRS friends.
If you would like to bring a dish, please contact Louise Salzer.
- December 7, 2013 5:30 pmInspirica Dinner
- December 8, 2013 9:00 amReligious School Breakfast
- December 8, 2013 9:30 amHebrew 102/Torah Study with Rabbi Rothman
- December 10, 2013 7:00 pmChoir Rehearsal
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
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- January 2013
- December 2012
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- October 2012
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- December 2011
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