The Rabbinical Assembly (RA) Convention

The RA convention has officially begun and there are three reasons why I'm glad I'm here. The first is that every year the RA honors those rabbis who have served for 50 years. It's affectionately called the survivor award! This year marks my father's 50th and 7 of his classmates have joined him in Jerusalem for this cherished event. They will reminisce about their time at the Jewish Theological Seminary (stories I've heard for years) and remind us why they went into the rabbinate. It's a great shot in the arm for the younger rabbis and it brings everyone in the RA closer. Older and younger colleagues celebrate service to the Jewish people. Mazal tov Dad!

I also enjoy reuniting with classmates and friends. I had lunch today with two of my friends who I haven't seen since last year's conclave. We catch up and we learn from each other about programs and initiatives that have worked and others that haven't. It's important for me to remember that my work doesn't exist in a vacuum and that I have a great support system for advice and counsel.

Finally, and this may be most naive, I have an innate loyalty and devotion to the Conservative Movement. I passionately believe in Conservative Judaism's ideology and feel that it is an authentic and fulfilling way to live a Jewish life. Though it has its politics I feel it's very important to support the RA and the Movement at large. I enjoy my work for the RA on its Social Action Committee and I foresee many more years of volunteering.

I thank Shaare Tefila for its support of me and my rabbinate; and I thank the congregation for its continued support of the Conservative Movement. Together we will continue to ensure that as many people as possible are touched and moved by their Jewish heritage and together we can learn and grow.