on Friday, 24 October 2014.
Posted in Rabbi's Blog
Making Space for Change
Journeys are part of Jewish life. By embracing this unexpected opportunity for self and communal growth, we can consider what we need to take with us into the future and what we will need to leave behind.
We begin by acknowledging the incredible legacy of courageous men and women who have made it possible for Or Shalom to arrive at this moment—lay leaders, congregants, staff and spiritual leaders. Use this legacy to arouse the courage and spirit to open a new chapter in the life of our congregation.
What will we need from our leaders?
We need our leaders to be reflective about their own Jewish lives. And we need them to be united with one another in helping the entire congregation reflect per-sonally and communally about what it means to live a meaningful Jewish life in the 21st century—a life that is rooted in an ever-evolving tradition made new by each generation. Our leaders are here to help us grapple together about how to meet the diverse needs of the three to four generations we currently serve.
How will we, as a congregation, reflect on who we are and who we might become? Through honest and respectful dialogue, by honing the ability to "think together” and by articulating a shared vision for the future.
We are not simply “managing” this process—which would mean “shuffling” and “juggling.” We are planning with great intention. We are thinking through what we really want and putting that first. Planning is about choosing.
A planful community develops the ability to talk togeth-er, identify and consider different sides of issues, discern needs, and create pools of collective wisdom. Planning creates unity in the face of what might otherwise be mul-tiple perspectives of scattered individuals.
Healthy engagement will move our community toward coordinated action, which in turn will lead to positive and meaningful congregational outcomes.
Within this framework we will engage in genuinely useful dialogue organized through a structured process that asks participants such fundamental questions as:
We invite you to participate. Each of us will play a different role—some will maintain our healthy, vibrant school and our wonderful committees and programs; others will ensure that the b’nai mitzvah experience continues to be a meaningful and inspiring one for families.
Some of us will manage day-to-day operations; while others ensure the financial health of our congregation. Some will enrich our services through music and innovation, and others will keep us grounded in meaningful tradi-tions.
This is the time to join together as one congregation to embrace our future—with hope, openness and anticipation. Keep your eyes and minds open to the many upcoming opportunities to share in this conversation.
Here is where we return to the metaphors of the Ark and the ner tamid.
Each of us is called upon to be a traveling ark—carrying Torah with us into every engagement—from the sacred to the mundane.
Each of us is called upon to be a ner tamid; lighting the way and reminding one another of the sacred task at hand. Together, we are creating sacred space for change.
On these Days of Awe, The Holy One calls out, “Create space for me…in your hearts, in your families, in your professional and social lives, and wherever you are, and I will be Present for you.”
Rabbi Nina J. Mizrahi
Erev Rosh HaShanah, 5775
Congregation Or Shalom21 Hawthorn ParkwayVernon Hills, IL 60061
Office HoursMondays: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.Tuesdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Wednesdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Thursdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Fridays: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
P: 847-362-1948F: 847-362-7348
The Safer Synagogues program engages congregational leadership in learning and dialogue about the impact of abuse across the lifespan, improving access to support for congregants experiencing abusive situations, and coordinated community strategies that perpetuate healthy, peaceful Jewish homes, families and relationships. Please click here for more information.