Categories
Convention Israel Rabbis Reform Judaism

How Do Israelis Do It? – Getting Ready for #CCAR16

I often ask myself, how do Israelis maintain balance in life?  Israeli life is filled with political unrest and social stress in addition to work and family transitions that have their own challenging rhythms.  So yes, how do Israelis do it? Come to the 2016 CCAR Convention (#CCAR16) from February 23-28, and you will learn how Israelis do it.

Join your colleagues as we explore the various ways that Israeli society responds to the question, “How do Israelis do it?”   How do Israelis cope with the ongoing psycho-social-spiritual battery of one on one physical combat and warfare? How do Israelis cope with significant physical injury and post traumatic stress?

Learn from shared real experience and select a couple sessions from these options:

  • Meet Etgarmin heroes and learn of their life challenges.
  • Dialogue with JDC representative who guide the Ruderman Disability Awareness and Inclusion program.
  • Interface with the leadership of the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psycho-trauma and learn how they frame their values and practice.
  • Examine the creative contemporary healing function of Mikvah in Israeli society.

You could walk or run the Tel Aviv Marathon, half marathon, 10K, or 5K. Every rabbi who participates in the run/walk has the opportunity raise significant money to benefit Reform Judaism throughout Israel.  Together we will make a significant statement about our commitment to Israel, while supporting it financially.  CCAR is also offering a scholarship, applicable final_rotatortoward airfare and/or hotel costs, of up to 10% of the amount raised in your name.

Or, you could select another option and participate in the wellness track, which includes early morning meditation, yoga, or Tai Chi by the sea, followed by a face to face psycho-social-spiritual conversation.  You will walk away refreshed and renewed by the energy and passion of Israeli social services that speak with heart and soul.

On a personal note, after the conference, I’m riding with the Riding4Reform cycling experience that allows you to experience the land and people close up and personal. It is also a wonderful way to contribute to the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism.  Find me at riding4reform.org to sponsor me – or join me!

Rabbi Karen Fox has been named Rabbi Emerita at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, California.

Categories
Convention Israel

Showing Up – Now more than Ever

This February the CCAR will be convening in Israel.  While it’s always a good time to go to Israel, this February offers an especially important and unique opportunity to spend time together in Israel as colleagues, as students and as hovevei Tzion. In case you are still deliberating the costs and benefits of participating in this seminal sabbatical experience, I would like to offer three specific reasons why I think you should join us in Israel this February.

1. You need it. Being a one-in-seven year experience, this convention provides you with a unique opportunity to be exposed to cutting edge learning, leadership and the program being offered allows you as a rabbi to encounter and process complex issues in a collegiate environment in which to process and air feelings, discuss frustrations and digest the daily trials and tribulations facing Israel and the Jewish people. These days in Israel will doubtless afford us a high level of professional development and enrichment to last the whole year.

2. Your community needs you to have these experiences.  I don’t have to tell you that for many in our movement, Israel is the source of great debate, controversy and even despair. I also don’t have to remind you that for many congregants, you are the source, authority and expert on all things Jewish – including Israel.  Which is why coming now will give you the opportunity to report back and share the rich and important encounters, meetings, briefings, study sessions and experiences with your congregants, boards, staffs and community members. They are in desperate need of first hand, beyond-the-headlines accounts of the exciting changes that are happening in the Israeli Reform movement, innovative ways of learning Torah, governmental and parliamentary deliberations and all that we are doing to combat the worrisome trends that are oft-mentioned in the media.  Your congregations, organizations, Hillels, and staffs need you to be their emissaries and bring back a real and meaningful account of experiences that are only available to this sort of a convention.

3. Israel needs you. This past year we worked very hard (with much gratitude to all of our rabbis for supporting, pushing and campaigning) to ensure that ours was the largest delegation to the World Zionist Congress.  We wanted the Government of Israel and the rest of the world to see that the Reform movement cares deeply and passionately about Israel and has come out in droves during this difficult time.  We did that, and let me assure you that our presence is felt.  In a world where headlines fade quickly, we need to do all that we can to demonstrate to both the Government and people of Israel that we are committed and invested in the future of Israel and in our movement’s relationship with her.  Only a strong showing of our rabbinic leadership will demonstrate that commitment and will send the message that we are strong, dedicated and will not pass up the opportunity to stand as a collective body of rabbis to hear and be heard.

I look forward to spending time, learning and experiencing with all of you in just a few short months!

Rabbi Josh Weinberg is the President of ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America