This winter's stops on the ALEPH / Jewish Renewal Listening Tour have been at conferences. In January we held one focus group for ALEPH ordination program students, followed by two open mike sessions at the OHALAH conference of Jewish Renewal clergy. In February we took advantage of spending a few days with our Rabbis Without Borders colleagues, and had some great conversations about ALEPH, Jewish Renewal, and the Jewish future while we were at Pearlstone. Now we're preparing for our two March stops, both of which will take us across the border to the north: we're Canada-bound!
Our Montreal Shabbaton on March 12 will be co-sponsored by B'nai Or Montreal Community Shul, Mile End Chavurah, and our colleagues at ALEPH Canada. (Here's the Facebook event page.) The plan calls for a morning / early afternoon program at the JCC/YM-YWHA, 5400 Westbury Avenue. We'll begin with a Shabbat morning service (in which Rabbi David and I will participate -- he's going to chant Torah, as Pekudei was his bar mitzvah portion!), a kiddush and vegetarian potluck lunch, and an open mike after lunch where we'll curate a conversation about hopes and dreams for the renewal of Judaism.
Our executive director Shoshanna Schechter-Shaffin will be with us, as will Rabbi Evan Krame (a member of the ALEPH Board) and Rabbi Shalom Schachter (son of Reb Zalman z"l), both of whom will also participate in the morning's service. (And we're always grateful when Board and staff are able to join us in our spiritual practice of receptive listening -- whether in person as we travel around the continent as life permits, or in the many listening tour sessions we've held via zoom videoconferencing. Alas, we're not able to visit everyone in person, so we are grateful for long-distance ways of listening.)
That evening we'll reconvene at Le Dépanneur Café, 206 Rue Bernard West, for havdalah. Then there will be a community cabaret, which promises to be terrific, though R' David and I will be quietly slipping out after havdalah and before the cabaret. (We've evolved a custom of spending Listening Tour Saturday nights post-havdalah together processing what we've learned and heard -- and also recording as much as we can remember of what was said, since we don't take notes on Shabbat.) Sunday morning we'll hold some meetings and conversations before we out-of-town guests hit the road to head home again.
If you are in or near Montreal, or are able to get there to join us, please do. We'd love to hear your thoughts, hopes, and dreams about ALEPH and Jewish Renewal's past, present, and future. (And if you're in or near Vancouver, stay tuned -- we'll be bringing the Listening Tour to Or Shalom over the weekend of March 26.)