CCAR July 2011 Newsletter - 1

C N F F R E N C E O AME C EC ET R A L LC O O N E E R E N C E O FF A M E R I C A N R A BBBBI IS S N NTRA A N R A

Founded In

‫תמוז-אב-אלול תשע״א‬

July/August 2011

1889

NEWS

Publication of the Central Conference of American Rabbis

‫איגוד הרבנים המתקדמים‬

Volume 58 – Number 10
FROM THE CCAR CHIEF EXECUTIVE Steven A. Fox The CCAR’s rabbinic staff prepared this document for the participants of the historic gathering of the Boards of the three legacy partners of the Reform Movement, CCAR, HUC-JIR and URJ, at the Joint Board meeting in June, 2011. We share this with you to highlight our leadership in the Movement and beyond, as well as our ongoing collaborations with our partners. We will be sharing more about the meeting as well as the outcomes in the future. The CCAR Today Joint Board Meeting of the CCAR/URJ/HUC-JIR, June 2011 The Central Conference of American Rabbis sustains and enriches the Reform Jewish community as part of the historic Reform Movement partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. The CCAR’s unique contribution to a continued vibrant Jewish community and Reform Movement lies in its work fostering excellence in Reform rabbis; enhancing unity and connectedness among Reform Jews; applying Jewish values to contemporary life; and creating a compelling and accessible Judaism for today and the future. Recent Changes within the CCAR Over the past few years, the CCAR has transformed itself into a mission-driven organization with a clear focus on strengthening the Jewish community through the rabbis who lead it. The CCAR achieves its core Mission by empowering Reform rabbis to provide religious, spiritual and organizational leadership; by enhancing rabbis’ personal and professional lives; and by amplifying the voice of the Reform rabbinate in the Movement and Jewish community on social, ethical and religious issues of the day. The CCAR now offers rabbis opportunities for Torah study; professional development; spiritual growth and emotional well-being; specialized services, such as placement, pension, mentoring and transition training; and chevruta—a nurturing community among rabbis. The CCAR Press has expanded its publication of liturgy and resources for the Reform Movement, including cutting-edge e-publications. The CCAR has successfully overcome financial and organizational challenges it faced six years ago, and is financially stable and organizationally sound with a new governance structure, rebuilt infrastructure, development, and enhanced programs and services. Also today, lay leaders join with rabbis as volunteers on certain CCAR Committees, as pro bono advisors, and as financial supporters. In fact, recent publication naming gifts have enabled the CCAR to publish new liturgy and resources, to increase its education offerings, and to offer more services to rabbis and communities. The challenge CCAR faces is to ensure financial sustainability to continue to offer these opportunities for rabbis and their communities. Meeting the Needs of the Changing Jewish Community and the Changing Rabbinate Together, the URJ, HUC-JIR, and CCAR are facing challenging issues within the Reform Movement and Jewish community, ranging from changing demographics to new financial realities. At the same time, as the organization working directly with rabbis “on the front lines,” the CCAR is fulfilling its specific role within the Movement by meeting the needs of Reform rabbis in the 21st Century. At our core, Reform rabbis are, as we have been for two thousand years, teachers of Torah. At the same time, we serve as religious, spiritual, educational, pastoral and organizational leaders. In addition, today’s rabbis are called upon to expand upon our traditional base of knowledge to serve as community organizers, outreach experts, technology and communications mavens, and financial managers/fundraisers.
(Continued on page 2)

FROM THE PRESIDENT Jonathan A. Stein Dear Chevrah, The second week in June was packed with historic and important meetings, including the URJ Board, the Joint Board Meeting, our CCAR Board meeting and a meeting of the Reform Pension Board as well. (As I type this, I realize how many times I have just used the word “Board”!) I take this opportunity to inform you about all of them. Sunday June 12th began with the URJ Board ratifying our colleague Rick Jacobs as President-elect. It was a particularly moving moment in the history of Reform Judaism as Rick entered the room with his wife and children to a sustained standing ovation. The enthusiasm for his candidacy was palpable and the strength and wisdom of his acceptance address was telling: our Movement has chosen well. He continued to impress and inspire throughout the day as he was given the opportunity to teach and to respond to various issues and discussions. Rick brings the kind of experience, stature, wisdom and gravitas to the URJ that gives us all hope for the future. That Sunday continued with another historic meeting: the first Joint Board meeting of the URJ, HUC-JIR and CCAR in over eighty years. Nearly three hundred committed and enthusiastic Reform Jews from across the country met to discuss the relationships that exist between our organizations and the need for increasing and deepening collaboration. Many came to that meeting with cynicism and suspicion, conscious of the many difficulties and divisions that too often separate us. But after six hours of honest and frank conversation and sharing, the meeting culminated on a note of measured optimism and trust. This was a first step in a new chapter of the Reform movement; it ushered in a new era of cooperation and the shared desire to work together. I personally left buoyed and encouraged. The Reform Pension Board met later that
(Continued on page 2)

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CCAR July 2011 Newsletter

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CCAR July 2011 Newsletter

CCAR July 2011 Newsletter - 1
CCAR July 2011 Newsletter - 2
CCAR July 2011 Newsletter - 3
CCAR July 2011 Newsletter - 4
CCAR July 2011 Newsletter - 5
CCAR July 2011 Newsletter - 6
CCAR July 2011 Newsletter - 7
CCAR July 2011 Newsletter - 8
CCAR July 2011 Newsletter - 9
CCAR July 2011 Newsletter - 10
CCAR July 2011 Newsletter - 11
CCAR July 2011 Newsletter - 12
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