This past week I attended the World Union for Progressive Judaism conference in Jerusalem. As part of my fellowship for the JDC- Joint Distribution Committee, I have been given incredible opportunities to connect with progressive Jews from all over the world. This conference specifically was so inspiring and meaningful. I met Jews from: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Costa Rica, Argentina, Guatemala, Canada, and the list goes on. Meeting progressive Jews from all over the world who share similar values and interests was so exciting and eye opening. We discussed the unique challenges and successes facing our communities, we shared our unique traditions and customs, and we exchanged an abundance of ideas with one another. There is such a beautiful community of like minded Jews in our world and my hope following this conference is that we can be more intentional in seeking out these connections.
My favorite memory from the conference was Shabbat services on Saturday morning. Services were held overlooking the Kotel in Jerusalem and everyone came together to pray. It was so meaningful hearing everyone sing the same tunes and pray the same liturgy despite our various locations in the world. They also did a Torah exchange with communities who were in need of Torahs. Witnessing this exchange is a memory that I will hold onto forever. This conference reminded me that we are truly one big family. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and I am looking forward to sharing more stories with you on Friday, May 19, at my last service with my Shaaray Tefilah family. It has been such an honor to serve your community this past year. I look forward to staying in touch as I will always be just a phone call or e-mail message away.
Rabbinic Intern Ashira Boxman