Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
So now, share YOUR favorite vacation experience or memory - we can add to each other's virtual photo album.
N'siya tova - wishing you safe a successful travels, wherever the road takes you...
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
So for fun - if YOU were stranded on an island, or stuck somewhere remote, or even just off on your own by choice - what three items would you find indispensable? Play along, and have some fun.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Today is the 15th (!) anniversary of ordination. I was just looking at our class picture (and it’s nice that I’m in touch with nearly everyone in it, to some degree or another) and my s’micha (rabbinical diploma). It’s true that time flies. Or, as my classmate Marc said “has it been that long? It only seems like forever!J” And yes, in some ways it feels like a very long time, and in others, like just the blink of an eye. Of course, I’m prompted to think about what’s happened over these years: having two kids, moving four times, taking on new professional positions, being in and out of touch with friends and family…as well as thinking of the accomplishments I’ve achieved: being involved with hundreds of b’nei mitzvah, funerals, weddings, baby namings, seasons of holy days and religious school (and of course the countless things I wish I’d done, didn’t quite to well, or never got around to…).
On this occasion, even looking back on fifteen (generally very satisfying) years in the rabbinate, I’m pushing myself instead to look forward: as of now, what are my hopes, dreams and visions for tomorrow? Why do I yet want to do, to realize, to become? I think it becomes more challenging to visualize such ambitions as we get further along the path. That’s why it seems so valuable to take time and expend the energy in revitalizing our capacity to imagine possibilities. I kick myself in these moments when I realize that I’ve allowed this childlike sense of wonder and play be masked by the regular “stuff” of life, allowing such hopes and plans to grow dim (I think I’ve just set a new priority for myself for the coming weeks – to really get in touch with my own long-term aspirations).
So share – not the great results that have brought you to this day – rather, what are YOUR goals…or hopes…or dreams…let your imagination go wild…who knows what triumphs we might yet achieve.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Some of you know that I’ve spent much of the past ten years actively engaged in studying organizational dynamics and leadership development. I have found this to be a fascinating area for learning and growth – personally and professionally – and have enjoyed watching this field begin to blossom especially in the Jewish not-for-profit sector. In becoming familiar with religious and secular materials, I am always looking for new, interesting, exciting approaches toward better synagogue management and operation.
I am DELIGHTED that a new book was published by the Alban Institute press. Sacred Strategies: Transforming Synagogues from Functional to Visionary is the latest in a recent flourishing of titles specifically geared to the Jewish institutional world. I have been anticipating this book since first hearing of the work going into it. (I think there was a change or two from initial publisher, as it’s taken more time than I expected.) Its authors – Isa Aron, Steven M. Cohen, Lawrence A. Hoffman and Ari Y. Kelman – are among the pioneering teachers in applying organizational best practices to the field of congregational transformation; it should be stimulating to learn from their collaboration.
The joint work of these colleagues again speaks to the dictum of the ancient rabbis: hafoch ba v’hafoch ba – “turn it and turn it again” – that there is always something more to be learned, discovered and uncovered in ANY important area of study – when we look at it anew, or with a new perspective. As our congregation has just engaged a new leadership team, I will be interested in looking to this new resource for renewed inspiration in our sacred work together.
(For more about this publication, visit http://alban.org/bookdetails.aspx?id=9036)
What’s your "sacred strategy?" - what's inspired your passion recently? Would love to know…