Report from the Legacy Heritage Grant Awardees Conference

TBS received a prestigious Legacy Heritage Innovation Project Grant in 2008 which was renewed in 2009.  All grant awardees attend a conference on the East Coast in June to share information and lessons learned from their projects.  Robyn Hendricks, one of our Shabbat animators and I attended this year’s conference in early June.  TBS is among 4o congregations across America,  Israel and Western Europe  to win grants focused on renewing Shabbat in congregational settings.  Congregations from all the movements were represented.  Each congregation sent a team to present the outline of their project and to receive constructive input.   There was genuine excitement about TBS’s Shabbat Hospitatlity Initiative.  We are grateful to be renewed since only 50% of 1st year projects survive into the 2nd year.  Beth Shalom’s project is two pronged, first with  a focus on Shabbat renewal in the school community by promoting family Shabbat experiences in our monthly Shavua Tov  on Shabbat afternoons.  The other piece is the renewal of the congregation through Shabbat hospitality in the home-The Shalom Aleichem program-which encourages our congregants to host Shabbat meals at home with the support of Shabbat facilitators called “Shabbat Animators”.   There was genuine excitement for our innovative approaches at the conference.  We look forward to introducing the year 2 versions of this program in the Fall.  Robyn,  who will be taking a leadership role in both programs, was honored and excited to attend the conference.  We look forward to her sharing her infectious energy with TBS in the coming year. 

Our initiatives are part of an intentional effort to revitalize Shabbat at TBS.  I invite congregants to weigh in on what they think would help to make Shabbat more special and compelling in our community?  Share your ideas here through comments.

Rabbi Dov G

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