Rabbi's Column - March 2017

Dear Friends -

I will be attending the annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis this March in Atlanta. Some of you may be aware of this annual outing; others may be hearing about it for the first time. Let me share with you that being together with 500 rabbinic colleagues is a treat for the spirit.

The CCAR Convention is an opportunity to enhance professional skills and study Torah. It is also an opportunity to spend time with treasured friends. After all, a CCAR Convention is simultaneously a professional conference AND a college reunion. Add to that the fact that we all share deep Jewish values and practices and community and you have a recipe for a meaningful four days.

This year, our convention will focus specifically on "Being a Rabbi in Turbulent Times." We do indeed live in turbulent times and this year we will come together to address some of the most pressing issues of our day: the rise of anti-Semitism, the political landscape at home and in Israel, the tragedy that is Syria, the refugee crisis, and racism in America.

In addition to grappling with tough issues, we come together for prayer every day (not on Shabbat, however -- as Rabbis, we all have to be home for Shabbat!).

I feel so blessed to be a Rabbi and to be the Rabbi of Temple Beth Tikvah, where we can come together as a community to look at our lives through the lens of being Jews and foucs on the intersection of Judaism and ethics. Nothing replenishes me for that holy task more than our annual CCAR Convention. Being in Atlanta this year gives us the extra opportunity to focus specifically on Civil Rights and Atlanta’s own heritage in that realm.

I will be at the CCAR Convention March 19-22. I look forward to sharing a report from CCAR with all of you upon my return at Shabbat Services on March 31st.

Rabbi Offner