Clergy Leadership Beyond Our Walls

by Rabbi Jill Maderer

I am so grateful to serve a congregation that cares not only about its immediate needs, but also about the broader Jewish community. All of our clergy work on initiatives beyond our walls. Such work nourishes us in our professional growth, contributes to the greater good of American Judaism, and offers us the opportunity for regional and national impact.

For instance, Cantor Frankel recently shared in the May Bulletin about her upcoming role as an officer on the Board of the American Conference of Cantors. Rabbi Freedman most recently joined the Board of Interfaith Family and continues his involvement in POWER and local and global multi-faith work, and I am concluding my term on the Board of the Jewish Federation and also service on the Board of Interfaith Philadelphia and on the Central Conference of American Rabbis Task Force on the Experience of Women in the Rabbinate.

I have taken on a new short-term role, and I have an idea about how some of you might like to be involved. This December, I will lead the Friday evening Shabbat service at the Biennial convention of the leadership of the Union for Reform Judaism. I am excited for the opportunity, and I enthusiastically invite you to consider joining me in Chicago for the 5,000-person convention of Reform Jews.

The large number of participants means this service is quite a production, so I am already planning the service. Presently, I am studying readings, poetry, and commentary I might like to incorporate into the service. I am focusing on readings that highlight relationships, connection, intimacy, and authenticity. Here is where I would like to invite your involvement. As I collect the commentaries, I would love to study them with you! I am so curious to know what you would find inspiring.

I plan to study the prayers and commentaries that I am considering for the service, along with parts of that week’s Torah portion, at our regular Torah Study session on Saturday, June 8 from 9:15-10:30am. I hope you will join the conversation!