|Letters to the Editor|
|Written by Jewish Chronicle Readers|
|Wednesday, June 20 2012 13:00|
‘Shabbat Live’ incredible experience
I wanted to share with you an incredible event that my wife and I were fortunate to experience on Friday night, June 8. We agreed to host the Community Kollel’s “Shabbat Live” dinner for young professionals. Rabbi Davis had mentioned that there would probably be around 50 young professionals, and we were amazed as more than 75 young people packed our back yard. I met so many Jews in their 20s and 30s from all different segments of the Jewish community, many of whom are not affiliated with any congregation. Their Jewish backgrounds were all vastly different, and yet it seemed as though they were all so comfortable coming together to experience a meaningful Shabbat dinner together.
The Kollel rabbis and their families were so excited to engage with each of the participants, and it really made all of the young professionals seem very at home celebrating Shabbat. I was shocked that they were able to feed so many people on such a low budget, and was impressed to see the rabbis rolling up their sleeves to BBQ Friday afternoon to keep the costs of the event free to the participants.
Shabbat Live and the Kollel’s work with young professionals is especially vital to the K.C. community, because as we all know the national and local statistics of young Jewish involvement is frighteningly low. We should all take notice of the Kollel’s great work, and I feel fortunate to live in a city with an organization like the Kollel, dedicated to Jewish education, outreach and community especially among young professionals, which will undoubtedly ensure a Jewish future here.
This program is singular in Kansas City in its ability to attract so many young Jews of all denominations to engage in a meaningful Jewish experience. As a friend of the Kollel I feel proud of their talents and success and want to congratulate the Kollel and its supporters for not only creating a gem of a program but maintaining high interest and attendance after so many years.
Wishing the Kollel and the young professional community in K.C. continued vibrance, growth and success!
Thank you for the note about B’nai Jehudah confirmands who took part in Hava Nashira in the June 14 issue of The Chronicle. I want to be sure to set the record straight. I have always been a participant at this workshop, which I have greatly enjoyed. Rabbi Ken Chasen, senior rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, has been a faculty member at Hava Nashira for several years. Ken is a gifted songwriter and teacher that I am glad to have known in the late 1970s (when I was a rabbinic intern at B’nai Jehudah) and that I am privileged to know now and have as a rabbinic colleague.