CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2015 - 1







Founded In


‫טבת תשע''ו‬/‫כסלו‬/‫חשון‬

Publication of the Central Conference of American Rabbis

November * December 2015 | Volume 63 - Issue 2
Denise L. Eger

‫איגוד הרבנים המתקדמים‬

Hara Person

Dear Colleagues,
Although the High Holy Days
are but a memory now, I have
to give thanks for our new
Mishkan HaNefesh and to all
those who contributed to its
creation. My congregation
plus 300 others (including some outside our
Movement) and seven Hillels used it during
this High Holy Days season. What a smashing
success! I have never felt so exhilarated and
spiritually uplifted from a machzor before. And I
heard it from my congregants, many who said it
was the most spiritually recharging holy days they
ever remember. They didn't realize how much they
needed a change.
The poetry, the accessibility and majesty of the
season are all a part of this amazing compilation
of tradition and innovation. We owe a debt of
gratitude to the team of editors and the many
different colleagues who played such an important
role in its development.
I know some of our colleagues were reticent to
switch from Gates of Repentance, wanting to see
how Mishkan HaNefesh was received. Let me say
from personal experience that this machzor is a
tour de force. It is a prayer book that will last for
many years because it has the ability to continue
to challenge our congregants and all of us. I know
in my congregation, we were only able to explore
a small sample of the depths of it. I look forward
to many years of innovation using it.
We can never say thank you enough. So thank
you to all the colleagues along the way who
had their congregants utilize drafts of Mishkan
HaNefesh. It really is the "People's Machzor" and
you can feel it in the variety of prayer and poetry.
Thank you to the many colleagues who served
and contributed to its contents. Thank you to our
editors, Janet and Shelly Marder, Edwin Goldberg,
Leon Morris, Peter Berg, and Cantor Evan Kent.
Thank you to Elaine Zecher as chair of the
Machzor Advisory Group for many years. To Don
Goor as chair of our Press Council and to those

Thank You
Now that the High Holy Days are safely behind us, we want to wish a heartfelt
todah rabbah to all our colleagues for your support of Mishkan HaNefesh. The
enthusiastically positive feedback has been overwhelming, and we are thrilled
to see how well the machzor was received in its inaugural year. We know that
adopting a new machzor takes a lot of work, both in terms of properly preparing
the ground in your communities and in preparing for the services themselves.
We understand that to have jumped into this with both feet was a leap of faith.
And we are grateful for all that you've done to be part of this moment of significant transformation.
It is awe-inspiring to think of all the fingerprints of so many that are on the pages of Mishkan
HaNefesh. Of course, the main credit goes to the editorial team-Eddie Goldberg, Leon Morris,
and Janet Marder and Shelly Marder, who did most of the translation and wrote most of the original
material, as well as Elaine Zecher, the chair of the Advisory Group, Evan Kent, the ACC representative,
and Peter Berg, the membership liaison. Then there were all the contributors-the poets and writers and
scholars whose work appears on its pages, as well as the initial teams who collected and suggested
material. There are the thousands of people who were parts of pilot experiences and gave feedback.
There are the essays at the beginning of each volume by our teachers and colleagues Lisa Edwards,
David Ellenson, Larry Hoffman, Ellen Lewis, Laura Lieber, Dalia Marx, Rick Sarason, and Maggie
Wenig, all of whom helped or inspired us in significant ways. Then there are the scholars with whom
we consulted-each time the team met in person we invited a scholar to study with us. These included
Larry Hoffman, Maggie Wenig, Debra Reed Blank, Devorah Weisberg, Marc Brettler, Chana Bloch,
Catherine Madsen, David Teutsch, and Ranen Omer-Sherman, among others. There is the CCAR
Board, and the Machzor Advisory Team, who helped make Mishkan HaNefesh become a reality. And
of course there is a our dedicated team in the office, whose help with visioning, planning, budgeting,
editing, piloting, more editing, proofing, more proofing, marketing, selling, customer service, printing,
warehousing, and shipping was invaluable.
Rav todot to everyone who was part of this process in all the myriad ways that are necessary to bring
such a project to life.

There is no question that Israel
has undergone significant
changes since 2009, the last
time our convention was held
in Jerusalem. Our upcoming
convention will be a unique opportunity to get
an insider's look at many of these changes. The
convention planning is particularly focused on
giving our attendees
an extensive series of
options for examining
the changes in politics,
culture, and the

We are also planning for a historic shift in our
convention-from being based exclusively in
Jerusalem to spending part of the convention in
Jerusalem and part of the convention in Tel Aviv.
In carefully listening to our Israeli colleagues, we
have heard, loudly and clearly, that we must be
in Tel Aviv if we are to gain firsthand experience in
the increasingly central role that Tel Aviv plays in
the life of Israeli society and Reform Judaism
in Israel.
Deepening our understanding of the many
changes in Israeli society and deepening our
understanding of and support for Reform Judaism
(Continued on page 6)

(Continued on page 7)


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2015

CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2015 - 1
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2015 - 2
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2015 - 3
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2015 - 4
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2015 - Insert1
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2015 - Insert2
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2015 - 5
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2015 - 6
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2015 - 7
CCAR Newsletter Nov-Dec 2015 - 8