Aleph Canada Newsletter - December 2010

Rabbinic Director's Report: December 2010

Dear Friends of Jewish Renewal,

With the 2010 calendar year about to end, I wanted to take a few moments to write and bring you up to date on our progress since last August.

FINANCES: We are all so pleased at your response to our call for contributions and particularly for the sustaining gifts of chai ($18)/month. Your generosity is allowing ALEPH Canada and Canadians committed to Jewish spiritual renewal to play an increasingly important role in supporting some of ALEPH’s key projects. If you haven’t already and are so inclined, I encourage you to use the link to Canada Helps to make either a one time contribution or, even better, a regular monthly gift by credit card. Since Canada Helps does all the administrative work, including providing your tax receipt, giving this way frees up my time to concentrate on program and resource development.

Which brings me to our FIRST HIGH HOLYDAY RETREAT. We ended up being a small group of about 15 participants and I think the attendees agree that it was a wonderful and different kind of experience. I produced a machzor especially for these services and we had lots of time for discussion and sharing. You can read a more detailed summary of the retreat below. Noam Dolgin and I are already thinking about next Rosh HaShanah. I’m also hoping to schedule another a study retreat here on Hornby Island for late August.

In August, I wrote you of changes that were scheduled to take effect in October. These are now in effect and include:
•I am no longer providing administrative and fund-raising services to ALEPH “Central” (as one of our board members calls ALEPH in the States). Those services I now provide only to ALEPH Canada.
•My work for the Ordination Programs involves supporting the students, handling administrative needs, and facilitating a complete review of our programs of study, in addition to serving as Director of Studies for our Canadian students.
•In the area of resource development, I am adding to the larger machzor project, just completed the final formatting a Hassidic book which Reb Zalman has long wanted to make available (and which will be available on the ALEPH Canada website starting in a month or so), and we are hoping to put together a book of essays on conversion to Judaism by next Fall.
•Finally, our mechinah program is also doing well and, if you want to know more about it or be on the mailing list, please visit the Distance Learning page of the ALEPH Central website.

I encourage you all to visit the website of “ALEPH Central” where you will find the latest on the next Kallah in Southern California in July, the complete ReSources Catalog, and information on our various programs of study.

Once again, I want to thank the members of our board for their support and attention and you all for your support. Blessings and best wishes as we enter the next secular year!

Rabbi Daniel Siegel