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Reb Lisa's Message


On Friday I will be boarding a plane to Denver, Colorado to attend the Annual Shabbaton and Ohalah Clergy Conference. I have not been on a plane for three years. In fact the last time I was on a plane, I was flying to Colorado to attend the same conference. Fortunately, for the last two years, I attended the conference virtually.

Hazzan Steve will also be attending the Ohalah conference. It is a time for us to enjoy being with colleagues from all over the country (and world). Together as a professional community, we pray, we learn, we listen, we visit, we network, and we support each other. This is a time for us to sharpen our clergy skills, hear from a diverse group of Jewish clergy professionals (Rabbis, Cantors, Rabbinic Pastors, and Spiritual Directors), and to share our avodah (life’s work).

Our CBI community reaps the benefit of our professional development. Everything we learn and harvest from this experience comes back to YOU!

At this same conference two years ago, Hazzan Steve was ordained Cantor. In one year, G!d Willing, I will be ordained Rabbi at this same gathering! What a journey!

I wanted to share with you all that this year at the Shabbaton, I will be celebrating the completion of another program, Hashpa’ah, and will be receiving ordination as a Mashpiah (Jewish Spiritual Director). You can read more about this in the e-Blast.

All of this points me to what I want to share with you. The title of this year’s Ohalah conference is “Kol Koreh Bamidbar,” Hearing the Call (from the Wilderness). Serving as the Spiritual Leader of CBI, receiving ordination as a Mashpiah, and in one year’s time receiving Smicha as Rabbi all have to do with listening to a quiet whisper, that swelled into a resounding call. I am fulfilling what I believe I am here to do. It took several decades to understand the stepping stones that brought me to the wilderness, where I had the courage to listen and then act.

As we step into this new secular year 2023, I encourage you to explore your own wilderness and see what might be waiting for you. If you settle your mind and quiet the voices that tell you otherwise, you just may hear a sacred call.

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