Shul

My Teacher And Mentor: A Tribute To Rabbi Avi Weiss

03/24/2014

The Yeshivat Chovevei Torah dinner March 23 in New York marked the first time Rav Avi Weiss has ever allowed himself to be publically honored.

I was one of the rabbis lucky enough to learn the rabbinate from him, having served as Rav Avi’s assistant rabbi for six years. Even today, 18 years after I left his professional side, there is not a single day that unaffected by what he taught me. So I’ll try to sneak this in now, alongside the many tributes to him.

Pew And Jewish Humor

10/16/2013
Story Includes Video: 
0

For years, the Jewish community and synagogue leaders have fought the trend 
of dropping membership and attendance. Now the Pew study provides an answer (“Jews Serious When It Comes To Humor,” Oct. 11).


Texting on Rosh Hashanah

There was undoubtedly more texting in shul this Rosh Hashanah than in past years. In most liberal congregations, texting was likely done as discreetly as possible, often with a cellphone hidden low in one's lap. In some congregations it might have been more overtly outside in the lobby or perhaps outside the synagogue building.

Is it tactful to text during Rosh Hashanah services?

The Church of TED Talks

Who wants to be transported? I do, I do. So I was interested to read these comments in a recent New Yorker article:

“It set my heart on fire.”

“I got all inspired and my hair stood on end and I got weepy-like and energized and enthused.”

The Vilna Gaon would not have liked TED Talks

Making Your Website Work for Your Synagogue or Jewish Organization

Quite often I get asked to consult synagogues on their Web presence. The first thing I do is take a look at their current Web site and try to determine in which year it was created. I can usually tell its production date within a few years based on several factors. I then explain what a Web site should do today. After I explain its function, I let them know that the look of the site matters less today than its functionality. Today's Web site needs to be an extension of the community the synagogue is trying to create (or in some cases, has already created). 

synagogue-website.jpg

Mayor of the Minyan

Every synagogue minyan (daily prayer group) has the one person who always seems to be there. In some congregations, this might be the gabbai (a ritual director of sorts). In other shuls it might be the rabbi. And in others it might be a lay person who is very dedicated and wants to ensure there is always a minyan (quorum of 10) so others can say the Mourner's Kaddish. Some minyans have a group of dedicated individuals who make it a point to always attend -- regardless of rain, sleet or snow.

Forget being a sage, prophet or king... become the mayor of your minyan!
Syndicate content