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This week's portion: dreams, vows, changes

Velveteen Rabbi in the Berkshire Jewish Voice

There's a lot that I love about the world of blogs, in which I have the pleasure of interacting with fellow bloggers around the world regardless of where we might physically locate ourselves. But long before I was a blogger, I worked in local journalism -- which may explain why I feel so honored by the very gracious article that was just published about me in the Berkshire Jewish Voice, my region's more-or-less monthly Jewish newspaper.

David Verzi wrote the article, which is topped with the headline Rachel Barenblat: "When Can I Run and Play with the Real Rabbis?" The article covers a lot of ground, including my San Antonio roots, how I came to the Berkshires and why I stayed, and my professional trajectory over the last ten years. Here's a quote, in which I try to draw a throughline between some of my projects and passions:

"At The Women's Times," said Barenblat, "there was a value placed on telling 'real' stories of 'real' women, and at Inkberry the intent was to empower people to be able to tell their own stories... and to some extent, that carries through to the work I hope to do as a rabbi: to empower people to...speak their own truths in a Jewish context and understand their personal story as part of the broader Jewish story -- after all, Judaism is a religious tradition that pays a great deal of attention to 'story.'"

The article also delves into some of the tenets of Jewish Renewal, like the four worlds paradigm, the centrality of enlivening connection to God, and the need to integrate the traditional with the new. Plus it explains how the Aleph rabbinic program works, and quotes my sister's  fabulous term for Jewish Renewal, "groovy Judaism," which always makes me smile.

If you're in the area, you can pick up a copy of the BJV in all the usual locations. And to the folks at the BJV, I extend my sincerest thanks for a really lovely article. The whole experience was a pleasure, from the engaging interview to seeing this thoughtful piece of work in print.

Edited to add: with the permission of the BJV, I have posted the full text of the article (with accompanying photo) at my website, here. Enjoy!

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