This past Shabbat marked the first time in two years that Hazzan Kim Komrad was able to participate in our sanctuary leading Shabbat services. We were all pleased to note that she was in fine form and for those of us who were there in person, it was a beautiful service. Unfortunately for those joining on Zoom, we suffered an equipment failure during the service. We were able to reposition the laptop which is usually on the rabbi’s podium to cover the center bimah instead, but the sound quality and picture were not as good as usual. We will be meeting later this week to try and figure out what precisely happened and how to fix things going forward, but whenever we rely on technology glitches can occur.
On Friday morning I mentioned Jewish concerns about the possibility of enacting year round Daylight Saving Time. If you are interested in reading about the lobbying efforts by the Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel on this issue, see this article.
For the last several weeks I have been participating in a program for Conservative rabbis looking at how to make our movement more inclusive of Jews who are partnered with those of other faiths or of none, and their families. The facilitator of this program, called Rimonim, is Dr. Keren McGinity who is the Interfaith Specialist at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and a research associate at Brandeis University. She recently published an article describing her work and the changes in synagogue culture that would make our communities more inclusive. Prof. Jack Wertheimer of JTS responded that there is much to be lost and little to be gained if we change our policies and practices regarding intermarriage. I will discuss both articles and take a look at where I think our movement is headed, after minyan on Thursday night.
We continue to be deeply concerned about the welfare of the Ukrainian people under attack from Russia and those who have fled the country. Our own Masorti (Conservative) movement has been active in Ukraine for decades with what was until recently a thriving network of congregations, schools, and camps. If you want to assist the worldwide Masorti effort in Ukraine and neighboring countries please give at this link.
As a reminder, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington has established a Ukraine Emergency Fund to meet emergency humanitarian needs. You can find out more and donate here.
As always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-977-0768 rather than through the synagogue office. Although I am working primarily from home, I am happy to meet you at the synagogue by appointment.
Rabbi Charles L. Arian