In Ecclesiastes 1:4 we read, Generations come and generations go, but the Earth remains forever. I used to find great comfort in these words, but of late I wonder about the truth behind this statement. Personally I am feeling overwhelmed and a bit helpless with all that is confronting us, asking myself how do I respond to those who seek out my council when I too am deeply concerned for our future?
As religious leaders, many of us find ourselves feeling battered and bruised from the numerous needs and issues that come at us 24/7. Needing to find ways to care for so many may leave us feeling isolated and alone. A Facebook Group can certainly allow for the scream into the night, but it lacks the ability for authentic human contact between individuals who understand our unique responsibilities, our inner realities. We rabbis need holy souls to sit with in real time to share our concerns, to open up our hearts, and share what’s on our minds, and most importantly to dream together.
This is where our annual CCAR Convention can offer each one of us so much.
When you attend a CCAR Convention, you give yourself the gift of time.
Time to recharge your soul and nourish your mind;
Time to experience heart-opening prayer and stimulating Torah Lishmah;
Time to reconnect with colleagues to share ideas, provide council, or just catch up;
Time to refresh, learning from coaches able to mentor us to be our best, to rediscover our gifts.
At this year’s Convention, you will discover a program that highlights the very best thinkers and activists, change agents, and visionaries, dealing with the major issues of our time: antisemitism, the 2020 election, Israel, the environmental crisis, racial bias, women’s experience in the rabbinate, and other critically important topics impacting us and our communities.
By being together in Baltimore, we are able to be connect with members of our rabbinical body and speak with our CCAR leadership to share with them what each of us—from chaplains, to pulpit leaders, educators, and Hillel directors— needs to thrive within our individual rabbinates. Each and every one of us is tasked with the responsibility to respond to the spiritual and social needs of our times, so let us come together at CCAR Convention.
As they say on every airline flight, “Place the mask on yourself before assisting others.”
I hope you will join me March 22–25, 2020 in Baltimore, where together we will confront the issues of our day, and find our way forward to better assure a strong and bright future for ourselves, our rabbinate, our communities, and our world.
Give yourself the gift of renewal, the gift of CCAR Baltimore Convention 2020.
Alexandria Shuval-Weiner is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell, Georgia and the chair of the CCAR Convention Committee. CCAR Convention 2020 will be held in Baltimore, March 22-25, 2020. CCAR members can register here.