Shabbat Shalom ~ Shemot 2023

Shalom WJC Family,

Just a short note today as Rabbi Dalton and I were away most of the week at JTS’s Rabbinic Training Institute (RTI), a four-day intensive learning conclave for rabbis. It is always wonderful to have the space and time to learn from exceptional scholars, be with former classmates and old friends, and refresh our Torah to share with you as we return. We are looking forward to sharing our learning and telling you all about the experience.

This week’s video is based on a Dvar Torah I offered on the first night of the retreat. It honors Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel whose 50th yahrzeit we commemorated this week and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose birthday we celebrate next week. It draws on the wisdom they shared and lived to help us through these often confusing times.

I hope you will participate in all of the upcoming events we are hosting to honor MLK Day (the Race and Place event this past Sunday was very informative and motivating). I want to especially draw your attention to the last event, a week from this Friday night. Starting at 6:30pm we will share Shabbat Dinner and join together in a spirited Rhythm & Ruach followed by a panel on Reflections on Interfaith Clergy Visit to Israel. This past spring, I participated in a special visit to Israel with clergy of several religious traditions sponsored by the Westchester Jewish Council and UJA Federation. Come hear the reflections of the Reverend Jennifer Brown, Father Kevin Veitinger and Bishop Lee Trollinger about our trip to Israel and the value of coalition building across faiths.

Lastly I want to encourage you to sign up and mark your calendars for two great events next week. Wednesday, January 18th join our coalition of local houses of worship and the Community Counseling Center of Larchmont Mamaroneck at Larchmont Temple for “Psychology for Everyday Life: The Power of Acceptance.”

Then on Thursday, January 19th I hope you’ll join our coalition of Conservative synagogues for the second installment of “Boundaries and Belonging: Creating a Synagogue Community of Meeting,” presented by the renowned Hartman Institute. These programs are presenting crucial information for understanding the state of communities and synagogues today, and how we might strengthen them for the future. I really hope you’ll join us.

This Saturday morning at our regular 8:30 learning I will be reviewing some of the important ideas and sources that Yehuda Kurtzer taught at the first Hartman session. Then on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 we will hold Shabbat mincha services and I will be teaching some of my favorite Heschel and MLK sources.

See you in shul,

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