A Jammin’ Shabbat at Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation

I am blessed to be part of a congregation filled with talented musicians. Each of them bring something unique to the services they lead. And when they get together… magic! Here is a YouTube of a Jammin’ Shabbat from just before Purim in 5774. Lots of musical excerpts from this Shabbat together. The joy of our small community is evident. It even has me telling a classic Chelm story which hopefully will raise a giggle from your kishkes. Wish I could share with you the hamantaschen I baked for the congregation to share with my story!

All Beginnings Are Hard

“All beginnings are hard.” (Mekhilta Yitro BaChadoesh 2)

With this thought I begin my personal professional blogging career. I have occasionally been blogging as a guest poster on Kol Isha, the Women’s Rabbinic Network blog for a while. But this new blog aims to be a personal conversation between you and me.

In this age of new media, the way we communicate has changed vastly. I used to preach from the pulpit. And it was enough. I once wrote for the congregation’s newsletter and publish in newspapers. And it was enough. I got the word out to those who needed to know by letter. And it was enough. I taught in the classroom and in the pulpit. And it was enough.

But the congregational world is no longer local. It has become global. The walls of our synagogue are more ephemeral than in the past.

We use emails, blasts, text messages, websites, Facebook, twitter, Instagram and blogs. We communicate differently. There are no more newsletters (at least in my congregation). The letter has given away to email programs. The sermon is no longer 3 points, but a time to communicate using various forms to engage congregants. My teaching happens on varying mediums.

In this new global world our congregations are more than our membership. So I begin and reach out to you. So I begin and will share with you. Perhaps this will not be so hard!