Toward Strength and Commitment: Deepening our Engagement and Growing Together

This year is 5777 in the Jewish calendar. The Hebrew letters, which are alsonumbers, represent strength (Ohz-Ayin-Zayin) and forward movement (Zuz).

This combination of strength and movement calls us to engage with our deepest values and communal principles. We can step forward together with a fierce commitment to radically transform our lives, our communities and world.

Throughout the Days of Awe, and the year ahead, we will explore and act on our mission and vision as an inclusive Jewish, spiritually activist, caring, and committed community. Immediately as the year begins, we join our 50 fellow member congregations of POWERand commit to register at least 180 voters toward the overall goal of 12,500 new voter registrations. Our congregation, city and larger society will be shaped for years to come beyond this one election. Our Jewish values, and our own Mishkan Shalom statement of principles, compel us to rise above cynicism or apathy and get involved. We will do so in the weeks ahead! As we enter 5777, our new president, Ellen Tichenor, is already making her skill, compassion and energized engagement felt as she helped shepherd us through the shifting terrain of securing our new resident CB Community School.

Our tireless team of Marc Jacobs, Ilene Burak, Bob Kaufman, David Piver and Ellen helped us to secure, find space for and, with VP

Barry Dornfeld, Lance Laver and the Building/Aesthetics Committee, adapt our premises for the Bridge Way School, CB School, City Light Church, event rentals and our own needs. Past president David Piver is staying passionately involved in our spiritual life and will partner with our new development chair Jean Brody to direct our fundraising efforts. We recognize and appreciate continuing and new Board members and committee chairs, new and returning members, and an amazing staff.

I want to especially offer unending gratitude to our office manager, and new grandmother Maria, who along with Mr. Charles and Brian, has stood at the epicenter of the swirling changes around us. Rivka, Rabbi Yael, Gari, our congregational school families and our Library committee, have had to adjust and even relocate, and at the same time help lead our adapting to this exciting future. Sharon Parker and a host of volunteer members have done some heavy lifting in the heat of the summer as well. Any change can mean loss and dislocation. It is important to remember amid the enthusiasm for future sustainability. Yet, we are hopeful as we realize our collective potential and live our values and Jewish ideals

If we can strengthen our own connections to each other as I begin the first year of my new five-year covenant to serve our community, please let me know better ways to do so or ways you can better support each other in conscious Jewish community.Let us move forward in strength and deeper engagement together. This is going to be a remarkable year.

Elul tov v’Shanah Tovah U’Mitukah--wishing all of us and our precious world rebirth and renewal in the year ahead.

We are poised to move to a new phase in the life of our community. Founding members can join the new generation of members to engage more actively in our mission and vision. Please read Ma Hadash weekly and visit our website often to stay informed. Our Shabbat school pilot project begins in December for three monthly Shabbat immersion experiences. Thanks to Rabbi Erin Hirsh and Gratz College, we are getting some additional support for our Teen programming.

With new member Julie Meyer’s leadership we are looking to reboot our Green Team and sustainability efforts as part of the HAZON seal of Sustainability initiative, and on Wednesday, September 14, at 7:00 p.m., our spiritual life team will offer a chance to learn and get behind the scenes of our Shabbat services for all interested. This is the year to raise the bar of involvement and take greater ownership of what the covenant of belonging means as a stakeholder in Mishkan Shalom.

Thank you to those who began to move towards greater strength and commitment in volunteer time and financial contributions beginning with our annual community meeting last June. Thank you all - we now have a new phase of the journey to travel together.

On Shabbat weekend of September 9-10 we can show up with and for each other, to lean into a renewed commitment and connections in a full weekend of dynamic learning, prayer and sustenance as we celebrate Owen Spencer’s Bar Mitzvah. Rabbi Yael, Julie and I will all be on hand.

As I take these words in myself, I assess my own leadership of service, my partnering, parenting and friendships. I see my contributions and growth, and more often than not, my falling short of the person I long to be in this precious one life. If I have unintentionally hurt or missed the mark with any of you, please let me know in kindness so we may move into this next year with a more open heart together.

If we can strengthen our own connections to each other as I begin the first year of my new five-year covenant to serve our community, please let me know better ways to do so or ways you can better support each other in conscious Jewish community.Let us move forward in strength and deeper engagement together. This is going to be a remarkable year.

Elul tov v’Shanah Tovah U’Mitukah--wishing all of us and our precious world rebirth and renewal in the new year.

 

4101 Freeland Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19128 - ph: (215) 508-0226 / office@mishkan.org Site map