RABINNIC DIRECTOR'S 2009 YEAR-END REPORT
Dear Friends of Jewish Renewal,
Reb Zalman teaches that we are passing through a Paradigm Shift as humanity learns to absorb the implications of space travel, instantaneous world-wide communication, and the strain on the planet’s resources created by the technologies and consumption patterns of growing material abundance and population. This past year has witnessed the difficulties in shifting paradigm, as we search for the humane and ethical ways to exit the economic downturn.
These difficulties have also affected ALEPH and ALEPH Canada. As most of you know by now, attendance at Kallah was significantly lower than it has been in over a decade due to the economic situation. In addition, some of our larger donors have had to reduce their gifts. It has been, and still is, a challenge to make ends meet and keep our program healthy. It is a tribute to ALEPH Executive Director Deb Kolodny and our Kallah director Sally Plone that the Kallah actually managed to contribute to our operating expenses and so far our program continues to grow.
We Canadians are playing an important role in keeping ALEPH healthy and a creative influence in our paradigm shifting. We more than doubled our giving this past year. The ALEPH Bet Midrash added two new educational programs which have met with wonderful responses. We’ve added the first stage in the development of a new kind of machzor / High Holyday prayerbook, and we have begun helping new programs develop in three parts of our country.
As we light our Hanukkah candles, take a moment to review this letter and the extended descriptions on our website. Take pride in the role we are playing in strengthening and growing Jewish Renewal. And please, if you are not already, please consider becoming a chai/month donor.
With prayers that our new year be one of hope, of progress in redirecting our world toward peace and environmental responsibility, and one of joy and fulfillment for each of you.
Rabbi Daniel Siegel