WEST HARTFORD – Rabbi Ilana C. Garber of Beth El Temple in West Hartford has been selected by CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, to join the organization’s Rabbis Without Borders national fellowship program. Garber, who was one of 22 spiritual leaders selected from among more than 100 applicants, will join the RWB’s fifth class.
“Interest in the program has only increased over the years,” said Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu, RWB director. “Rabbis recognize that the religious environment has changed – from family make-up to spiritual practice. To reach people where they are and how they are, rabbis need to apply their skills in new ways. RWB offers that kind of support. It helps rabbis better communicate in both familiar and new venues, and makes Jewish wisdom an accessible resource for the American public.”
Listed this past year in the Slingshot Guide of the fifty most innovative Jewish organizations in America, RWB encourages rabbis to think creatively about their work and the new American religious landscape. Building a network of religious leaders from all streams, RWB strives to make rabbis better educators and community builders so that they can make Jewish insights readily available and present Jewish wisdom more effectively.
Rabbinic Fellows will gather in New York City four times over the academic year 2013-2014. Sessions focus on current trends in America today. The intersection between religion, politics, technology and identity are all explored in depth.
RWB also has a variety of resources for rabbis to enhance their skills for addressing diverse audiences. From online learning to one-on-one dialogue, participants will work with CLAL faculty to develop methodologies that draw on the texts and tradition in new ways. The goal is for the spiritual leaders to see their congregations as more than just members of their school, community or institution.
Launched in 1974 by Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, the mission of CLAL is to help prepare the Jewish people for the unprecedented freedom and openness of America. CLAL formed a network of rabbis capable of translating Jewish wisdom and practice into useful idioms for contemporary