URJ Biennial delivers entertainment, energy and promise of new Temple programming

By Betsy Frank

Betsy Frank is UHC para-rabbinic fellow and president.

Dick and I just returned from the Union of Reform Judaism Biennial in Boston. This is the first time we had ever attended. What an experience it was!

The sessions were very informative, from Hebrew Union College Dean and Rabbi Jonathan Cohen‘s text study on family life to a live taping of On Being with Krista Tippett.

The energetic and spiritual Shabbat services were like nothing I had ever attended.

Rousing entertainment and a chance to visit with old friends

Friday following the service was the famous songfest. Since we were in Boston, that event included the theme song from the TV series “Cheers”.

We visited with former United Hebrew Congregation student rabbis Matt Cohen and Elle Muhlbaum and Elle’s husband, Cantor Vladimir Lapin.

The Saturday night final plenary included a program of Hanukkah and other music, narrated by “The Nanny” star Fran Drescher. Dick and I also joined a Jewish walking tour of Boston.

We visited with former United Hebrew Congregation student rabbis Matt Cohen and Elle Muhlbaum and Elle’s husband, Cantor Vladimir Lapin.

We also connected with a former Rose-Hulman student, Joshua Hertz, who is now on the board of his synagogue in St. Louis. I guess we raised him right!

URJ provides valuable resources for member congregations

Perhaps the most informative experience for me was learning about all the URJ resources available to our congregation as a result of our membership.

By attending sessions and networking with others, I learned about programming we might hold at our Temple.

We have online courses for board development, consultants and access to a whole host of other resources at no additional cost.

URJ also provides access to student rabbis from HUC.

By attending sessions and networking with others, I learned about programming we might hold at our Temple.

Yes, attending the Biennial was well worth our time. I have returned home with renewed energy for Reform Judaism and our small but mighty congregation.

May you and your family enjoy a happy and healthy secular new year. And to our snowbirds, we look forward to your return in the spring.

Shalom,

Betsy Frank

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