CCAR Newsletter March/April 2019 - 1

CENTRAL

CONFERENCE

OF

Founded In

1889

‫טבתתשע״ה‬/‫כסלו‬
‫טבת‬/‫חשוןכסלו‬
‫חשון‬
‫תשע״ה‬
‫תשע''ט‬
‫ניסן‬/‫ב‬
‫ אדר‬2014 | Volume 62 - Issue 2
* December
November

AMERICAN

RABBIS

NEWS

Publicationofofthe
theCentral
CentralConference
ConferenceofofAmerican
AmericanRabbis
Rabbis
Publication

‫הרבניםהמתקדמים‬
‫איגודהרבנים‬
‫איגוד‬
‫המתקדמים‬

MARCH * APRIL 2019 | Volume 66 - Issue 3

FROM THE PRESIDENT
David Stern

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF RABBINIC ENGAGEMENT AND GROWTH
Betsy Torop

The honors of being a
rabbi are innumerable, and
most of them don't entail
publicity or plaques. Most
of them involve the kavod
of being present: in the
anxious hospital room or at
the quiet graveside, under
the chuppah before you turn your microphone
on, with a soldier the night before deployment,
alongside the bat mitzvah kid practicing from
the Torah in her basketball uniform on a Tuesday
afternoon or the senior leaning on his walker at
the oneg on a Friday night.

"If two sit together and words of Torah are between them, the Divine Presence
rests between them" (Pirkei Avot 3:3). These familiar and oft-quoted words tell
us a great deal about the possibilities that can unfold from ongoing learning.
A year ago, at our convention in Orange County, the CCAR overwhelmingly
agreed to require annual Continuing Rabbinic Education (CRE), as is standard
in most other professions. Leading up to this decision, there was an intensive,
year-long dialogue with rabbis across the country, led by David Lyon and the
professional development committee. There will soon be an FAQ available to
summarize the details of this exciting new development.

While the role of CCAR president calls for plenty
of public moments, the essence of this great
honor has for me involved more sitting at tables
then standing at lecterns: studying text or singing
in prayer with colleagues, hearing stories that
have enriched and complicated my understanding
of this calling of ours, engaging in movement
partnerships with our peer institutions and their
outstanding leaders, learning in every moment
from rabbis who work in prisons or hold hands in
those hospital rooms or know that the listening in
private that precedes the speaking in public is at
the heart of it all.

CRE is a commitment to growth, a recognition that our core
identity and all of our varied rabbinic responsibilities are grounded
in learning. It reinforces the integrity of our rabbinate to our
communities and helps us meet our own highest aspirations.
The words of Pirkei Avot also open the door to additional insight
into our commitment to CRE.

The phrase "words
of Torah" reminds
us that dialogue,
the sharing of
words, can be
integral to in-depth
learning.

"If two sit together" teaches us that learning provides the
opportunity for relationship. You have told us, in focus groups and
conversations, that there is a profound need for connection with
colleagues. Every learning opportunity that we create is centered
around this essential need. Webinars allow us to see and talk to
each other and enter break-out groups to learn together. In-person
seminars and travel provide an opportunity for intensive dialogue
and study around a shared interest or concern. Convention
workshops and study sessions allow us to learn from new colleagues, question together and make
connections that last beyond Convention. And while the rich list of archived webinars can be viewed
alone, there are colleagues who partner to watch and then connect to discuss.

Levinas, in describing the quality of rabbinic
hermeneutic practice, writes that it emerges from
people "with ears and eyes on the look-out,
attentive to the whole from which the excerpt is
taken, open as well to life: the city, the street,
other human beings." That has been the bar I
have set for myself as CCAR president, and one
that I have only occasionally reached. But I have
learned volumes from the text of the rabbinate we
live.

The phrase "words of Torah" reminds us that dialogue, the sharing of words, can be integral to
in-depth learning. Many of us study alone in our weekly preparation for Torah study and adult
education. This is often rewarding, but we have learned from you that it is not sufficient. Continuing
Rabbinic Education can be about listening, questioning, and reflecting in partnership on the broad
array of topics that inform our rabbinates. Every issue-even the seemingly mundane-is grounded
in history, text, and values. This is the Torah that we learn together.

I have heard stories about struggles for livelihood
and adequate health insurance, about the
profound desire for chevruta and the busyness that keeps us from developing collegial
relationships with colleagues less than five miles

All of this is why the commitment to Continuing Rabbinic Education is much more than a formal
requirement. It is a welcome into a rabbinate that is strengthened and enriched by our shared
commitment to study, by the building of the relationships that are essential to our intellectual and
emotional well-being. I look forward to your feedback as we continue to learn from each other.

"The Divine Presence rests between [us]" draws these ideas together. Relationship and dialogue
centered on learning can bring the Divine Presence not to each of us alone, but between us.
Learning with colleagues provides the spiritual nourishment that you have told us is all too hard to
find in a demanding rabbinic life, a spiritual nourishment that emerges from being together.

(Continued on page 5)
1



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CCAR Newsletter March/April 2019

https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/ccar-newsletter-may-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/ccar-newsletter-march-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G121493CCAR_JANFEB2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G121493CCAR_NOVDEC2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G120942CCAR_program2020-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G120006CCAR_SEPTOCT2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G118839CCAR_JULYAUG2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G118130CCAR_MayJune2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G116591CCAR_MarchApril2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G114808CCAR_ccar_januaryfebruary2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/ccar_novemberdecember2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G110190_ccar_septemberoctober2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G110007_ccar_program2019-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G108502_ccar_julyaugust2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G107070_ccar_mayjune2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G104424_ccar_marchapril2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G102955_ccar_januaryfebruary2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G100626_ccar_novemberdecember2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G98488_ccar_septemberoctober18
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G97581_ccar_program2018-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g96798_ccar_julyaugust18
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g93944_combined_Nxtbook
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g92567_ccar_marapr18
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g88385_ccar_janfeb18
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g85420_ccar_novdec17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g82806_ccar_program2017-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g81898_ccar_septoct17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g79550_ccar_julyaugust17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g77012_ccar_mayjune17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g74115_ccar_marapr17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/p72445_ccar_presscatalog_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g71726_ccar_janfeb17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g69487_ccar_program2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g69479_ccar_novdec16
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g66966_ccar_septoct2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g59749_ccar_marapr2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/G57794CCAR_janfeb16
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g55905_ccar_novdec15
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g55467_ccar_program2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/ccar_presscatalog_2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g53915_ccar_sepoct15
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g52303_ccar_julaug15
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g51260_ccar_mayjune2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g49150_ccar_marapr2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g47771_ccar_janfeb2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g46474_ccar_novdec2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g45072_ccar_2014_2016_programbook
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g44603_ccar_sepoct2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g43456ccar_julaug2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g42173_ccar_majun2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g40480_ccar_marapr2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g39359_ccar_janfeb2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g38463_ccar_novdec2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/ccar_foc2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g36831_ccar_2013_2015programbook
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g36868_ccar_sepoct2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g35408_ccar_julaug2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g34284_ccar_mayjun2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g33961_ccar_april2013convnewsletter
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g32840_ccar_marapr2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g31866_ccar_janfeb2013news
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g31203_ccar_2013convention
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g30708_ccar_novdec2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g29209_ccar_learningopportunities2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g28492_ccar_septoct2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g27500_ccar_jul-aug2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g26692_ccar_june2012newsletter
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g26209_ccar_may2012news
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g25534ccar_a2012
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/p18776_ccar_feb11
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/p18224_ccar_jan11
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/g18063_ccar
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/CCAR/p17426_ccar_nov10
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