Friday, February 17, 2012

Fundraising, Social Justice and Relationships - they're really the same thing

It's been a very busy couple of weeks. Last week, I attended Shekels, a seminar on fundraising for Rabbis. I learned a lot, and it was surprisingly (if you're new to synagogue fundraising) meaningful. That is, it wasn't just about dollars and cents (actually, it was barely about that at all). It was about something much deeper.

This week, I was at the Brickner fellowship for Social Justice, run by the incredible RAC. It was about making us better Social Justice Rabbis. But, very little of it was about the mechanics of advocacy, or of synagogue programming. It, too, was about something much deeper.

I learned so much from both of these retreats, and I'm going to be unpacking all of that learning (here and elsewhere) for a long, long time. But, there was one thing which overlapped both seminars, and it's so obvious, once you've been through them.

It's all about relationships.

Everything that we do as a synagogue. It's all about relationships.

Like I said, I'm going to be saying a lot more about this. And, I don't really have time right now to say anything at all (Shabbat's a comin'!). But, if you want a wonderful taste of what I'm getting at, check out this post by a new dear friend and colleague of mine, Rabbi Elizabeth Wood.

We are obligated to help one another, our Jewish wisdom tradition teaches us that. And the paths that lead to righteousness and justice are varied and different. But in that obligation there is reward - connection, fulfillment, and kedusha. When we seek out the other, we seek out something greater than ourselves that helps us become infused with God's spirit and the spirit of humanity.

Shabbat Shalom!

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