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The Streets of San Francisco

I find myself in San Francisco at the Conference of the CCAR, Reform Jewish rabbis. Four day devoted to figuring out how to lead and sometimes push the Jewish world into the future.

Lots of discussion surrounding the changing Jewish world. Rabbi Steve Fox, exec VP of the CCAR, is challenging us to recognize we are in a “neutral zone,” a place between what was and what is, between the comfort of the way we hve done things and the anxiety of figuring out how to do it differently. That we are wandering bamidbar, in the wilderness, and have no idea where and what the Promised Land is. Same Torah, understood/taught/approached differently.

Earlier today, we focused under the guidance of President Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus on the fact that the mishkan (moveable Tent of Meeting in the wilderness) was supposed to be a temporary until we got to another place where we would build something else. Yet we become stuck on structures and refuse to let go of old structures and ideas. Fascinating.

As we consider these issues, I am drawn further into the thinking and the work to prepare for an upcoming issue of the Journal of Reform Judaism/CCAR Journal that I am editing with my colleague Rabbi Alan Henkin on New Visions of Jewish Community. I am also pushed to think and rethink how we at Congregation Or Ami do Judaism and do Jewish Community.

My head is spinning. My thumbs are exhausted (because of tweeting – #CCAR10 – and blogging). But I am once again energized by my colleagues and this convention.

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