Rabbi Allan’s Blog Jan/Feb 2021

We Are Small but We Are Big! Welcome to the Western Canada Reform Collaboration!

Opportunities in the midst of adversity? This certainly has been our theme at Temple Shalom over the past year. For all the frustrations of physical distancing, online technologies are helping us form new ideas of community that are no longer limited by travel or weather or health concerns, or even needing to live in Winnipeg!

We are all thinking out of the box now, as we imagine what we might do with digital content in an online world. For us, it began with online services and Zoom gatherings. But that was just the beginning:  Starting this fall, our Canadian Council of Reform Judaism (CCRJ) has been connecting liberal Reform congregations all across Canada – not just in holiday services but in amazing cantorial collaborations like the recent Ma’oz Tzur and the earlier Hashivenu, reminding us that we are small but wow, we are big!

I am loving these new discoveries of common purpose and connection. It has inspired us here at Temple Shalom to initiate the Western Canada Reform Collaboration among the five Reform congregations in Western Canada. We five rabbis had our first meeting on December 22nd  and are excited about the opportunities to share online access to religious services, educational and cultural programs, and events with each other. Just imagine joining unique services and hearing new music across three time zones, or “attending” daily minyan services for mourners or Yahrtzeits in Vancouver, done the “Reform” way… just for starters.

I look forward to us all getting to know all about Temple Bnai Tikvah (Rabbi Mark Glickman) in Calgary, Temple Beth Ora (Rabbi Gila Caine) in Edmonton, Temple Sholom (Rabbi Dan Moskovitz) in Vancouver, and Kolot Mayim Reform Temple (Rabbi Lynn Greenhough) in Vancouver – to share with each other the great teachings, experiences and music that are an integral part of our unique, powerful and relevant voice as liberal Jews.

In the weeks and months ahead, we will be sharing information with each other – and with you – on all sorts of ways we can step into each other’s sanctuaries and find inspiration and new friendships, not just in these times of COVID-19 but well beyond.

Wishing you all a wonderful/better 2021!

Rabbi Allan