The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of the great Jewish thinkers and writers of the twentieth century, helps us understand our connection with prayer through the concepts of keva and kavanah.What Are Keva and Kavanah?
Keva is the fixed nature of our prayer. It represents the words on the page, and the order of the worship. Keva provides a framework for our prayer and guides our way through the service.
Kavanah, on the other hand, is the intent that we bring to our worship. As a prayer starts, kavanah is the deep breath we take, and the sweet, warm memory we recall.
In my blog post "When Less is More: The Role of the Executive Director," I suggest a simplified job description for temple executive directors:
“Working in sacred partnership with clergy, staff and lay leaders, the executive director shall oversee the day-to-day operations of the synagogue. All the rest is commentary, now go and get to work.”
Too short? Perhaps. Too simple? Probably. However, as it would be very difficult to capture the wide variety of tasks and responsibilities that most executive directors face in the course of any given day in a formal job description, a...Read More
My wife and I found our seats just as Rosh HaShanah services were about to begin, preparing ourselves to engage in worship. Our prayer books were at the ready and our cell phones turned off. With a few deep, cleansing breaths, the music began. We sang along with the choir and the cantor. The rabbi approached the bimah, welcomed us, and asked us to rise for the first prayer.
As I stood, I felt a familiar yet unexpected vibration on my wrist. Though I had turned off my phone, my new smartwatch was still on. Bathed in the warm glow of worship and community at my beloved synagogue for...Read More
Congregational leaders work tirelessly to make their communities strong and allow them to flourish l'dor vador, from generation to generation. That includes bringing new families into the congregation, which strengthens the community both relationally and financially.
Of course, the inverse of a family choosing to join one congregation is that they don’t join the temple down the street or on the other side of town. As a result, our congregations often find themselves competing for every new member in the area.
This competitive spirit seems to extend to the online sphere....Read More
You have questions? We have answers!
The URJ is excited to announce that we will begin hosting “Tent Office Hours” webinars twice a month to answer your questions about how to best use The Tent. These virtual office hours will be held:1:30 p.m. EST on the second Tuesday of every month 7:30 p.m. EST on the fourth Thursday of every month
Within the last two years, the Union for Reform Judaism has welcomed nearly 7,000 synagogue leaders and other Reform professionals into The Tent. In The Tent, our leaders connect with one another on the issues that matter most to them and...Read More