Zev Farber writes, teaches and edits for a living. He holds an M.A. from Hebrew University (Jewish History), a Ph.D. from Emory University (Jewish Studies/Hebrew Bible), and ordination (yoreh yoreh) and advanced ordination (yadin yadin) from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) Rabbinical School. He currently holds a fellowship at Project TABS and writes/edits for their website, TheTorah.com. He is a founding member of the International Rabbinic Fellowship (IRF), blogs actively at Morethodoxy, and answers questions for Jewish Values Online. He lives in Zikhron Yaakov with his wife, Channie, and their six children.
Rabbi Brent Chaim Spodek has been recognized by the Jewish Forward as one of the most inspiring rabbis in America, by Hudson Valley Magazine as a Person to Watch and by Newsweek as "a rabbi to watch." He is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute and a Fellow of the Schusterman Foundation.
Before coming to Beacon Hebrew Alliance, he served as the Rabbi-in-Residence at American Jewish World Service and the Marshall T. Meyer Fellow at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York.
Rav Mike Feuer is a teacher at the Pardes Institute for Jewish studies. He teaches “Striving for the Divine”, “Rav Kook”, and “Jewish History”. He has learned Torah in a number of Jerusalem area institutions, including Yeshivat HaMivtar, the Mir Yeshiva and Sulam Yaakov, where he studied for smikha (rabbinic ordination) and served as Educational Director. Rav Mike’s teaching is a mix of rigorous analysis and a passionate love of the poetry found in Torah.
What happens when a 3,000 year old tradition that is filled with deep ideas about sacred space and time, the capacity to achieve liberation from bondage, and also has a lot of talk about camels and goats collides with contemporary values such as feminism, creating inclusive spiritual community for Jews of all hues and non-Jews as well, and the importance for honest talk about theology or the lack thereof?
You get @Modern_Ritual.
This is an important point to consider within religious movements as they advocate for their adherents to be more humble with their voice, yet many of those being addressed do not a have voice in the communal conversations to begin with - do not have a seat at the table when decisions are being made around who counts and who doesn’t, who is ordained and who is not.
One of the successes that Rabbi Plumb touched on was how it allowed for people to bring their whole selves into the community. One of the middot (attributes) that the congregation adopted was the idea of b’tzelem elohim that each and every human being is divine and that every part of their lives is filled with holiness (holy sparks, some might say) - no part of which they should feel ashamed or judged for.
There have been some days where my faith has been so shaken that I couldn’t leave my house till I figured out whether or not I would continue being spiritual/religious. There have been days where I’ve been so discouraged by my lack of emotional vulnerability in my prayers that I’ve thought why bother doing this if it isn’t even a space where I can discover my soul.
But with all of these challenges I am so thankful that I have never quit. I have always maintained the belief that even though today is hard, who knows…