Aleph Canada Newsletter - June 2010


Dear Friends of Jewish Renewal,

As we move into our precious Canadian summer and I prepare to leave for a week of teaching and sharing with our wonderful ordination students, I wanted to let you know about important changes to ALEPH Canada as we move toward greater maturity and clearer focus.

First, I want to thank our board members for their involvement and caring. Moving from West to East, Rabbi Louis Sutker in Victoria, Jan Fishman and Susan Shamash in Vancouver, Betsy Jameson in Calgrary, Rabbi Neal Rose in Winnipeg, Rabbinical Student Anna Maranta in Ottawa, and Shifrah-Leah (Sherril) Gilbert in Paradise all give generously of their time and wisdom in helping us to chart a way for our part of Jewish Renewal.

Second, I again want to encourage you to read Melvin Pasternak’s letter about becoming a chai/month donor to ALEPH. This is an investment in ALEPH’s infrastructure and, especially in Canada, in its many educational programs. Response has been gratifying to date and it would be wonderful if a few more of you would commit to this easy and painless way of giving to ALEPH and helping further the work of Jewish Renewal, both in Canada and world-wide.

Third, I want to remind you of the High Holyday retreat on Hornby Island, where I live. We already have a few paid registrants as well as expressions of interest. Please feel free to drop me a note saying that you want to come, even if you’re not prepared to pay quite yet. We have a firm deadline of 19 August for registrations.

Finally, last month I mentioned that some changes were in the works and they are now moving toward formal approval. The board of ALEPH Canada has approved a simple budget for next year, which includes a predictable salary for me, split between administration (20%) and program (80%). We have agreed to adopt the Jewish year for budgeting purposes. And, our sponsorship of the Bet Midrash is now moving into a new partnership with the ALEPH Ordination Programs, in which I serve as the Associate Dean.

I pray that the summer goes well for us all and that we all receive a respite from our difficulties. May those trying to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico succeed, may the war in which we are involved begin to come to a peaceful resolution, and may we learn to be happy with what we have.

Rabbi Daniel Siegel