As we approach Deaf and Hard-of -Hearing Awareness Shabbat, I am reminded of Leviticus 19:14, "You shall not insult the deaf."
I was recently asked by someone I very much respect to address "the" question. So I started to write the answer in a post... about five times without any luck. The "Why does a 20-something join a Reform Congregation" question.
As a kid, Shabbat meant brisket. I loved that. Every once in a while, my mother would get inspired and feel the need to… cook? No, she always cooked in those days. It wasn't until many years later that dinner was more likely to be ordered than made.
“Who’s that guy?” I asked my mom.
“He’s the rabbi,” she answered. I stared up at my mom, with a blank gaze on my face.
When I was eight years old, my family joined a synagogue for the first time.
Israel is the new frontier of Reform Judaism. Since the 1990s the number of Progressive/Reform congregations and minyanim has doubled from 15 to 30, many of them served by native Israeli rabbis ordained at our Movement seminary in Jerusalem. Five thousand families send their children to Reform-affiliated schools, and last year a record 50,000 Israelis attended Progressive High Holy Day services throughout the country.