Thursday, May 1, 2014

Friday Night Live and ARZA Shabbat

This Friday night at Lakeside we have the convergence of Friday Night Live with Adam Kahan and his band Kavannah and ARZA Shabbat.  Now you may be familiar with FNL here at Lakeside; it's a wonderful t'filah full of music and instruments.

Explaining ARZA may take a few more lines.  From their webpage:

Our Mission

ARZA strengthens and enriches the Jewish identity of Reform Jews in the United States by ensuring that a connection with Eretz Yisrael is a fundamental part of that identity.

ARZA develops support for and strengthens the Reform movement in Israel and promotes advocacy for a Jewish, pluralistic, just and democratic society in the State of Israel.

ARZA links the people and institutions of the Reform Movements in Israel and the United States, informed by a love of Israel and a belief in K’lal Yisrael – Jewish peoplehood.

ARZA works in partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), and their affiliates. ARZA represents United States Reform Jews in national and international Zionist organizations.

Rabbi Josh Weinberg
ARZA is now run by a former student of mine:  Rabbi Josh Weinberg and I could not be more proud of him.  He recently taught at our annual NATE Kallah held here in Chicago.  His topic was not easy:  How do we talk about Israel: difficult questions.  Many people attended and I know they enjoyed studying with Rabbi Weinberg and learned how to tackle hard questions.

Adam Kahan 
ARZA is wonderful organization which melds together my two passions Reform Judaism and Zionism.  ARZA gives Reform  and Progressive Jews all over the world the opportunity to come together and find common ground.  As a member of Reform congregation you may choose to join ARZA and then have a voice in upcoming Zionist elections.  I encourage you to join ARZA and make sure your voice counts.  ARZA also sponsors great activities including Bike the Drive, take a look.

How does this all blend into Friday Night Live you ask.  We will be singing Israeli songs and of course every t'filah mentions Israel and we will try and point that out to you.  Adam and his band have always been able to take us to a wonderful spiritual place and I know that Friday night they will take us to Israel as well.  I know you will enjoy coming out to pray with Adam and his band this Friday night at
 7:30 pm at Lakeside.  Early Shabbat Shalom and I hope to see everyone tomorrow night.