Shalom Chevrei. Hello friends.
I am pleased to tell you that I will be spending this week in Boston for the URJ Biennial. Thank you so much for the opportunity. It is both generous and critically important that Emanuel Congregation sends me to this amazing gathering as an ambassador and as a learner.
I will join 5,000 others dedicated to Reform Judaism, including our First Vice President, Luc Dodinval. We'll enjoy numerous workshops dedicated to helping us improve our practice as a Reform congregation. We'll learn about leadership and change. We'll pray together on Shabbat. Can you imagine a service with 5,000 people? And, of course, we'll build up fellowship by strengthening old friendships and initiating new ones.
There are a few specific activities to which I am already looking forward. On Wednesday morning, I am visiting the Beacon Academy at Temple Israel of Boston. This is a special program established for low-income students in between 8th and 9th grades, designed to help them "excel in competitive educational environments, in their ability to positively impact school communities and in the social injustice currently characterizing our school systems." I am also going to a special gathering of Reform Illinois, which is a new social justice movement of Reform Jews in Illinois. Our meeting is called: "Building States of Justice." Then, for good measure, as the convention concludes on Sunday, I will engage in a workshop on Reform Judaism and our commitment to Israel.
Throughout the Biennial, I'll tweet and post on Facebook to let you know all the cool things I am learning. Stay tuned!
I look forward to spending time at future Biennials with you. And guess what? Good news! The next one, in 2019, is right here in Chicago. I'll drive you over, or we'll catch the El. Until we next see each other ...
Make it a day of blessing and be a force for good.