Redefining the role of synagogues


Synagogues should not be a place to go just on holidays or special occasions. Today’s challenge is to make synagogues relevant and meaningful so that they are viewed as spiritual and educational centers designed to encourage community engagement year-round.

In an effort to find ways to better engage South Florida’s Jewish Community, The Orloff Central Agency for Jewish Education (Orloff CAJE) and the Institute of Jewish Knowledge and Learning (IJKL) will be showcasing innovative practices that have brought a new energy to the 21st century synagogue and community.

The featured speaker for the event is Rabbi David Ingber, founder of Romemu, a synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that is one of the fastest growing in the country. Ingber, who was one of Newsweek’s Most Influential Rabbis in America, advocates a post-denominational Judaism. Romemu, has become a testing ground for reinventing Jewish practice within a traditional framework.

“Our community has a crisis when it comes to synagogue membership and engagement,” said Rabbi Arnold Samlan, executive director of Orloff CAJE. “This is the first of what we hope will be a series of programs designed to help renew Jewish living and learning in our community.”

The event will take place Sunday, Feb. 7 from noon to 2 p.m. at Orloff CAJE—Katz Building, 5890 S. Pine Island Road, Davie, Fla. Rabbis, cantors, Jewish educators and congregational leaders will be in attendance to learn more about those innovations that have worked at Romemu and other congregations, and explore how to adapt and adopt some of those practices for their own communities.

The event is being co-sponsored by B’Nai Aviv, the Broward County Board of Rabbis, Temple Sinai of Hollywood, Temple Beth Israel, David Posnack Jewish Community Center, Temple Beth Torah Sha’aray Tzedek, Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El, Temple Beth Orr, Temple Beth Emet, Congregation Kol Chaverim, Temple Solel and Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options (JAFCO).


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