I am here in New Orléans at the Central Conference of American Rabbis 122nd Annual Conference. More than 500 Reform rabbis from around North America, Israel and England have gathered together to study, teach, pray, discuss, envision and imagine Jewish life in the 21st century. It is always inspiring to be together with those that share your passion, faith and commitment. Praying together is especially meaningful when we raise our voices together in song. All of us lead worship on a regular basis. We don’t often get to “sit in the pews”. We have to preach and manage the service and provide inspiration for others. So it is especially powerful to have moments of prayer when we can be the ones receiving rather leading.
And it is wonderful to sit together during prayer with life-long friends. Although we don’t see each other often enough because we are in far away cities or even across town in our own congregations-when we are together it is as if no time has passed. Yes there is the usual exchange of pleasantries and sharing of photos of kids and grandkids but there is also time to really talk and laugh and share from the heart. I have known many of the people here for 30 or more years! From Summer camp. From NFTY. From college and rabbinic school.
I am honored to have been elected one of the Vice-Presidents of our Conference. On Monday at services I was installed as Vice-President of Membership Services. I am honored to serve our conference and my colleagues. Thank you. Mazal Tov to our new President Rabbi Jonathan Stein of New York City and our President elect Rabbi Rick Block of Cleveland, Ohio.
It is good to be in New Orléans with friends and colleagues. Follow us on twitter at #CCAR11