NEW YORK – Rabbi Elan Babchuck, of Temple Emanu-El, the Conservative synagogue in Providence, and Rabbi Peter Stein, of Temple Sinai, the Reform synagogue in Cranston, are two of 21 successful applicants to a rabbinic fellowship program.
More than 100 individuals applied for this, the fifth class of Rabbis Without Borders (RWB), a landmark initiative that helps rabbis make Jewish thought and practice more available for improving people’s lives.
“Interest in the program has only increased over the years,” said Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu, RWB director, in a press release. “Rabbis recognize that the religious environment has changed – from family makeup to spiritual practice. To reach people where they are and how they are, rabbis need to apply their skills in new ways. RWB … helps rabbis better communicate in both familiar and new venues and makes Jewish wisdom an accessible resource for the American public.”
“For me, this is a unique opportunity to share the expansive wealth of Jewish life with the community at large,” wrote Rabbi Babchuck in an email to The Jewish Voice. “People are hungry for real Judaism – the kind that moves masses, inspires individuals and sparks change. This is it.”
“I am honored and excited to be part of the Rabbis Without Borders program,” Rabbi Stein wrote in an email to The Jewish Voice. “I look forward to increased opportunities to share Jewish wisdom across Rhode Island: in my synagogue and in Rhode Island’s Jewish community for sure, but also to lead and teach those who are seeking comfort, learning and a sense of connection across our state.”
Listed this past year in the Slingshot Guide of the 50 most innovative Jewish organizations in America, RWB encourages rabbis to think creatively about their work and the new American religious landscape.
Building a network of religious leaders from all streams, RWB helps rabbis make Jewish insights readily available, adding to the well of American spiritual resources.
The rabbinic fellows will gather in New York City four times during the academic 2013-14 year; sessions will focus on current trends in America today. The intersections of religion, politics, technology, identity and meaning making are all explored in depth.
Since 1974, when Clal, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, began, its mission has been to help prepare the Jewish people for the unprecedented freedom and openness of America.
Started by Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Clal formed a network of rabbis capable of translating Jewish wisdom and practice into useful idioms for contemporary life; RWB is an extension of that work.