Rabbis Torah

To Count and to Contribute

With the winds of the Red Sea still blowing past us, we begin the process of counting.  For one moment each day, we stop the journey, and stand witness to the forward march of time and the aggregation of our days.  We number these days, one to forty-nine, and we mark them, unambiguously, with blessing.  Every day, every hour, every minute counts in the space between Passover and Shavuot.  Time is precious, and what we choose to do with our time, even more so.

This point is made ever so clear when I take note of you, my colleagues, and the outstanding things that you are doing every day, every hour, every minute.  Everywhere I look, I see you innovating and creating, offering of yourselves and your talents, doing meaningful work and making a significant impact—upon individuals, families and the community at large.   I see you in the news and online, on Facebook and face-to-face; creating new social justice agendas, pushing for positive change, initiating necessary conversations, and standing up for what you believe, no matter how popular or unpopular the cause.  You, all of you, are making a difference.

Every one of you is remarkable.  Every one of you is worthy of blessing.  Whether you are in the pulpit or in Hillel, whether you are a chaplain or an educator, whether you specialize in community organizing or conversion, counseling or computers; whether you are pastoring to a community of thousands or taking care of your children; whether you are full-time or part-time, half-time or three quarter time; whether you find yourself off the beaten path or on it; whether you make your mark through articles written, sermons delivered, lunches packed, or petitions signed; whether you call yourself senior or associate, assistant, educator, executive, CEO, COO, CTO, pastor, chaplain, artist, maven, activist, actor, mom, dad, brother, sister, or simply “rabbi,” you COUNT.  You MATTER.  You have something absolutely extraordinary to offer.

All of which leads to my impassioned pitch to you, my dear colleagues.  As the newest member volunteer for RavBlog, I, along with the esteemed staff at the CCAR, am looking to add your voice to our RavBlog rolls.  We want to hear from you and read your thoughts, we want to learn from you and be inspired by you.  We want to feel with you and commiserate with you.  We want to be challenged by you and be inspired by you.  We want to laugh with you and cry with you.  We want to cook with you and craft with you.  We want to highlight your victories and give voice to your struggles. We want to dream with you and vision with you.  We want to hear from you, period!

Whatever you want to say, however you want to say it, we want to hear it, and share it.   We want to spark conversations—online, offline, and everywhere in between.  We want to create a platform for discussion and debate and dialogue.  We want to shed light on all the incredible things you do each day.

And so, to that point, I am asking you to help us grow and deepen RavBlog.  Help us highlight more of you and more of your exceptional projects and initiatives and ideas.  Help us expand our reach, not only to rabbis who haven’t yet subscribed, but also to interested family members, friends, congregants and community members.

Think about contributing and urge your colleagues to do so as well.

One of my personal goals is to cast a wide net, and to connect with as many of you as I can, in service of making RavBlog more representative of our multi-faceted rabbinate.  But rather than wait for me to find you, I wholeheartedly invite you all to reach out to me!  By all means, message me on Facebook or email me at with ideas, pitches, thoughts, questions, concerns, comments, and the like!

As we count our days and watch them pass, we recognize that there is no time like the present—to make our voices heard, to share our stories, and to contribute to this vibrant community of ideas.  I’ll bet you’ve got a terrific blog post just waiting to be submitted to RavBlog today!  I’m so looking forward to hearing from you.

Rabbi Sara Sapadin resides in New York City.  She most recently served Temple Israel of the City of New York.  Sara now volunteers as the CCAR RavBlog Member Volunteer.  Interested in writing something for RavBlog?  Email Sara.

General CCAR News Reform Judaism


Welcome to Ravblog, the blog of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

The world in which we live continues to change rapidly, including shifts in the Reform Movement and broader Jewish community.  This includes changes in demographics, finances and religious practice, as well as the way we gather as communities.

The CCAR itself is changing, as are the 2,000 rabbis who make up our membership, and the 1.5 million Jews we now serve in all walks of life including congregational and community settings. The CCAR’s mission, as it has been since 1889, is to strengthen and enrich the Jewish community.  We do this in many new ways be it through life-long learning, liturgical and Jewish practice publications, as well as cutting edge digital publications and Apps. We are also anchored in tradition as we apply Jewish principles to contemporary issues.

One way we continue to learn and grow is through engagement — engagement with our own rabbis, with other Jewish professionals, lay leadership in the Reform Movement, and with members of the broader Jewish community.

It has been great to hear from you and engage in conversations when we see each other in person at CCAR Conventions, national Biennials, professional conferences, congregational visits, universities, and even on military basis (yes, our rabbis serve Jews in the military).

To talk more often, we¹ve created Ravblog, as an ongoing space for us to interact.  Together we¹ll look at issues facing the CCAR, the Reform Movement, Israel, and the Jewish world as a whole.  We¹ll look at issues of today, and of tomorrow.  What are we all thinking about?  What are we working on?  What challenges are you facing?  What are the big ideas on our minds?

Some of our staff members will blog, as will CCAR leadership, and you¹ll also hear from a number of guest bloggers.  To our members who are great bloggers, and others who participate in this great online Jewish conversation — you have inspired us and set the bar high.

Let us know what you think and keep teaching us.


Rabbis Steve Fox, Hara Person, Debbie Prinz, Alan Henkin, and Dan Medwin

(The CCAR Rabbinic Staff)