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From Rabbi Spey.  In Deuteronomy (15:1-2), we read, “At the end of seven years, you are to make a Release.  Now this is the manner of the Release: one shall release, every possessor of a loan of his hand, what he has lent to his neighbor. He is not to oppress his neighbor nor his brother for the Release of God has been proclaimed.” It is from this verse that the concept and practice of sabbaticals, or breaks from the usual responsibilities and tasks, developed. It is with deep gratitude and much anticipation that I look forward to taking some sabbatical time this summer.
 
My concept of utilizing this time that the congregation has graciously granted me is not only to rest and refresh myself, but also to pursue activities that rejuvenate and inspire me in ways that improve my rabbinate. In other words, I hope to learn and experience things that will enable me to be a better rabbi for Temple Bat Yam. In fact, I will be sharing this experience via a blog that we are setting up through the Temple Bat Yam website. <--break--> Toward that end, beginning May 26, I will be joining an ARZA Leadership Mission to Israel. ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America) is the arm of the Reform movement of Judaism that seeks to promote Reform Zionism, which is a belief system which implores us to continue the work of building and reimagining what it means to have a Jewish and Democratic State in contemporary times. On the mission we will be exploring issues surrounding settlements: visiting legal and illegal settlements and meeting with settlers, Palestinians, and officials. The next day is dedicated to learning about Israel’s refugee issues: visiting refugee camps, engaging in dialogue with officials, refugees, and their advocates. As well, we will spend a great deal of time engaged with issues surrounding hot political issues like the peace process, religious pluralism, and Israel – diaspora relations. The mission culminates with attendance at the 23rd Biennial Convention of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, Israel’s Reform movement.
 
From there, I have been invited to spend almost a month working with the Reform Jewish Community and Movement in Cape Town, South Africa. I will be working with several synagogues, teaching and learning with them, and assisting the head of their Reform Movement. Through these experiences, I hope to gain a depth of knowledge and increased expertise in a wide range of subjects of interest and concern to our community. Again, thank you for the opportunity and I hope you join me on my adventure through the blog.

5151 NE 14th Terrace
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334
One block north of Commercial Blvd. and NE 15th Ave.

Phone: (954) 928-0410
Fax: (954) 928-0762

info@templebatyam.org

One block north of Commerical Blvd. west of 15th Ave.

26.190761, -80.127773   (precision: address)