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3 Rabbis in a Minivan

Rabbis Paul Kipnes (Congregation Or Ami, Calabasas), Rick Winer (Temple Beth Israel, Fresno) and Laura Novak Winer (Jewish Educational consultant) drove in minivan for the ride back from the Pacific Area Reform Rabbis (PARR) conference. Rick’s driving, Laura’s navigating and Paul’s typing. 
We all reflected on what we gained from 4 days with 160 rabbis plus spouses/partners. We enjoyed:
Studying with scholar Melila Hellner-Eshed of Israel’s Hartman Institute. We explored applications of Kabbalah’s Zohar text to Jewish healing for individuals, rabbis and congregations. It sounds really esoteric but rabbis get into that stuff. 

Meeting with Israel’s Consul General David Siegel who updated us on the latest behind the scenes news from Israel, including issues of religious pluralism, women’s equality, and the security situation with surrounding countries. 

Dialoguing with new president of the Union of Reform Judaism, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, whose presence underlined the importance to the URJ of connecting with West Coast Reform leadership. Rabbi Jacobs spoke eloquently about the far-reaching moves to transform our national organization into a nimble, flexible, responsive and effective movement. 

Organizing Reform Rabbis (and congregations) into Reform CA, a unified Jewish religious voice on issues of concern in California. We energized each other as we recognized that our values should have a voice in the public sphere. 

Kvelling about the continued growth and efficacy of our Movement’s Camp Newman which engages over 1,400 Jewish kids each summer. We reviewed the master plan for the transformation of the physical space to deepen our educational and religious program. 

Sharing collegiality where we could pray, support and laugh with others whose experiences can offer wisdom and guidance as we continually deepen our rabbinates. 

Benefitting from private one-on-one consultations with rabbinic coaches, CCAR Chief Executive Steve Fox, an our URJ District Rabbi, Point of Contact, and Specialists. 

Studying with Hebrew Union College Dean and Professors as well as student, which provided insights ini best practices and new ideas. 

Finally, hiking through Indian Canyon Indian Reservation provided gorgeous vistas, healthy exercize and meaning conversations with close friends. 
Jason Gwasdoff, Lindy Passer, Michelle and me, Laura Novak Winer and Rick Winer 
When rabbis go off to conferences, we welcome the opportunity for reflection and rejuvenation. and we thank our communities for supporting an encouraging our participation. 
See you next year, PARR colleagues. 

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