Take a moment and summon a visual in your mind.
Now compare it with this group: 22 men (some clean-shaven, others bearded) and women (one pregnant, another gray-haired); single and married; gay & straight; several recent graduates of seminaries and a few approaching retirement from years of serving the Jewish people; Orthodox and Renewal, and everything else along a wide spectrum of belief, ritual practice and rabbinic training.
We are crowded around a huge conference table in a room lined with bookshelves. We are studying with talented teachers, scholars and guest speakers invited by Clal to meet us. We are expanding our own ideas about being rabbis in North America in the 21st century. We are discussing and debating, singing and praying, eating and tweeting, laughing and crying. Growing. Learning how to help others grow.
What is a rabbi without borders? Clal faculty members share their vision of Judaism and the rabbinate with us. They push us to discover and define “What is my Torah?” and “Who is it for?”
What a gift to be cherished–and shared. I am grateful to have been chosen for this year’s fellowship and will strive to learn, to teach, to observe and to make the most of this opportunity.