My reflections on 18 years, with my new perspective:
1. Relationships truly matter. Knowing people's names, knowing who they are, learning their stories, listening to their pains and celebrating their accomplishments.
2. People are not looking for ‘something for nothing’. People are willing to pay for that which they feel has value.
3. Pluralism is no longer a dirty word. There are many paths to explore and embrace. We need no longer be defined in such a narrow way.
4. Quality does make a difference. People truly do seek deep learning, impactful worship and worthy leaders.
5. We need to stop saying ‘no’. My ordination degree instructs me to be a ‘teacher among the Jewish community’. It is time to do just that.
6. Find others who support your vision. As a ‘Rabbis Without Borders’ fellow, I have found wisdom and support from colleagues with similar visions. Just as I was beginning to feel alone in my rabbinate, I was invited to join RWB, and this community has been invaluable.
7. We have a lot to learn from Chabad. Period.
8. What I do off the bimah is as important as what I do on it. The one-on-one conversations, intimate dinners and small group learnings connect me to my community.
9. The High Holy days are no longer the main focus. Jews truly seek Jewish community 365 days of the year.
10. The sermon is no longer the center of a worship experience. Worship is much bigger than just the sermon, and the sermon is no longer the only way for rabbis to share our ‘voice’.
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