Revolution of the Jewish Spirit: How to Revive Ruakh in Your Spiritual Life, Transform Your Synagogue & Inspire Your Jewish Community

Overview

Prepare to revive your Jewish community with the transformative power of the Divine spirit.

"Rabbi Baruch HaLevi and Ellen Frankel have correctly identified Ruakh as a key missing ingredient in Jewish institutional life, especially in the synagogue. Their call is for a revolution of spirit, a rejuvenation of our purpose, our worship, even our sacred spaces. It is recognition that the craving for community can...

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Revolution of the Jewish Spirit: How to Revive Ruakh in Your Spiritual Life, Transform Your Synagogue & Inspire Your Jewish Community

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Overview

Prepare to revive your Jewish community with the transformative power of the Divine spirit.

"Rabbi Baruch HaLevi and Ellen Frankel have correctly identified Ruakh as a key missing ingredient in Jewish institutional life, especially in the synagogue. Their call is for a revolution of spirit, a rejuvenation of our purpose, our worship, even our sacred spaces. It is recognition that the craving for community can bring people back to our institutions, if we welcome, engage and inspire them."
—from the Foreword by Dr. Ron Wolfson

In this practical and engaging guide to reinvigorating Jewish life, Rabbi Baruch HaLevi and Ellen Frankel identify the difference between a living synagogue and a dying one, and offer methods for reviving the Jewish spiritual centers—federations, community centers, institutions and synagogues—that serve as the heart of Jewish tradition and your life. They offer practical strategies for sustaining and expanding transformation, including tips for providing impassioned leadership, inspired programming and inviting sacred spaces. Whether you are clergy, congregant or community member, this guide will help you awaken your spirit and enliven your journey to a Ruakh-filled life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Read this extremely interesting and impressive book.... It offers hope, courage and inspiration to all who long to find or renew a congregation with spirit, learning, art, sustainability and radical hospitality."
Rabbi Rachel Cowan, senior fellow, Institute for Jewish Spirituality

"Rabbi B and Ellen Frankel have opened their hearts, directed their minds, and shared their soulfulness so that a path long covered is again revealed! We are invited to dance our liberation, and the ancient incense of Torah ascends through their wondrous insights."
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies; vice president, American Jewish University; author, Passing Life's Tests: Spiritual Reflections on The Trial of Abraham, the Binding of Isaac

"Inspiring! Refreshing! Visionary and pragmatic, traditional and innovative, personal and institutional, spiritual and authentic! A must read for anyone interested in the reimagining and revitalizing of contemporary Jewish life."
Rabbi Irwin Kula, coeditor, The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices: CLAL's Guide to Everyday & Holiday Rituals & Blessings; president, CLAL—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

“For those who have lost faith in our people and institutions.... Provides important ideas to help us improve our own synagogues and communities. Ruakh might also be the most important missing ingredient of Federation life. Revolution of Jewish Spirit can help us there as well.”
Barry Shrage, president, Combined Jewish Philanthropies

“Every religious leader, clergy and lay, will find something of value for the managing and guiding of religious institutions to become centers of spirit and community. An important addition to the happily widening bookshelf for all interested in synagogue transformation.”
Rabbi Mordecai Finley, spiritual leader, Ohr HaTorah Synagogue, Mar Vista, California; professor of liturgy, mysticism and Jewish ethics, Academy for Jewish Religion

“From radical hospitality, to synaguides, to under-constructionists, this book made me think about the language we use in Jewish life today and the way it can revive or dilute human spirit.... An intimate portrait of synagogue life ... to help readers discover and re-discover the wonder of Judaism.”
Dr. Erica Brown, author, Inspired Jewish Leadership: Practical Approaches to Building Strong Communities and Spiritual Boredom: Rediscovering the Wonder of Judaism

“An inspiring and insightful manifesto to breathe life into the American synagogue in this age of choice and change. Filled with candid advice and specific examples of purpose and strategy, it's valuable reading for clergy and lay synagogue leaders.”
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg, Institute for Jewish Spirituality

From the Publisher

"Read this extremely interesting and impressive book.... It offers hope, courage and inspiration to all who long to find or renew a congregation with spirit, learning, art, sustainability and radical hospitality."
Rabbi Rachel Cowan, senior fellow, Institute for Jewish Spirituality

"Rabbi B and Ellen Frankel have opened their hearts, directed their minds, and shared their soulfulness so that a path long covered is again revealed! We are invited to dance our liberation, and the ancient incense of Torah ascends through their wondrous insights."
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies; vice president, American Jewish University; author, Passing Life's Tests: Spiritual Reflections on The Trial of Abraham, the Binding of Isaac

“Inspiring! Refreshing! Visionary and pragmatic, traditional and innovative, personal and institutional, spiritual and authentic! A must read for anyone interested in the reimagining and revitalizing of contemporary Jewish life.”
Rabbi Irwin Kula, co-editor, The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices: CLAL's Guide to Everyday & Holiday Rituals & Blessings; president, CLAL—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

“For those who have lost faith in our people and institutions.... Provides important ideas to help us improve our own synagogues and communities. Ruakh might also be the most important missing ingredient of Federation life. Revolution of Jewish Spirit can help us there as well.”
Barry Shrage, president, Combined Jewish Philanthropies

“Every religious leader, clergy and lay, will find something of value for the managing and guiding of religious institutions to become centers of spirit and community. An important addition to the happily widening bookshelf for all interested in synagogue transformation.”
Rabbi Mordecai Finley, spiritual leader, Ohr HaTorah Synagogue, Mar Vista, California; professor of liturgy, mysticism, and Jewish ethics, Academy for Jewish Religion

“From radical hospitality, to synaguides, to under-constructionists, this book made me think about the language we use in Jewish life today and the way it can revive or dilute human spirit.... An intimate portrait of synagogue life ... to help readers discover and re-discover the wonder of Judaism.”
Dr. Erica Brown, author, Inspired Jewish Leadership: Practical Approaches to Building Strong Communities and Spiritual Boredom: Rediscovering the Wonder of Judaism

“An inspiring and insightful manifesto to breathe life into the American synagogue in this age of choice and change. Filled with candid advice and specific examples of purpose and strategy, it’s valuable reading for clergy and lay synagogue leaders.”
Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg, Institute for Jewish Spirituality

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580236256
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 250
  • Sales rank: 1,282,001
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Baruch HaLevi, DMIN, a dynamic speaker on the topics of Judaism, spirituality and building inclusive communities of faith, is spiritual leader of Congregation Shirat Hayam, one of the fastest growing congregations in the Greater Boston area.

Ellen Frankel, LCSW, a member of Congregation Shirat Hayam, is a popular author and speaker on spirituality and wellness. Her work has been featured on TV nationally and in The Boston Globe, The Jewish Journal North of Boston and The Jewish Advocate.

Dr. Ron Wolfson, visionary educator and inspirational speaker, is Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University in Los Angeles and a cofounder of Synagogue 3000. He is author of Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community; The Seven Questions You're Asked in Heaven: Reviewing and Renewing Your Life on Earth; Be Like God: God's To-Do List for Kids; God's To-Do List: 103 Ways to Be an Angel and Do God's Work on Earth; Hanukkah, Passover and Shabbat, all Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs Art of Jewish Living family guides to spiritual celebrations; The Spirituality of Welcoming: How to Transform Your Congregation into a Sacred Community; A Time to Mourn, a Time to Comfort: A Guide to Jewish Bereavement and Comfort; and, with Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman, What You Will See Inside a Synagogue (all Jewish Lights), a book for children ages 6 and up. He contributed to May God Remember: Memory and Memorializing in Judaism—Yizkor, Who by Fire, Who by Water—Un'taneh Tokef, All These Vows—Kol Nidre, and We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism—Ashamnu and Al Chet (all Jewish Lights).

Dr. Ron Wolfson is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Building Good Tents: Envisioning the Synagogue of the Future
  • God's To-Do List
  • The Seven Questions You're Asked in Heaven
  • Blessings and Kisses: The Power of the Jewish Family
  • A Time to Mourn, a Time to Comfort

Click here to contact the author.

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Introduction: Revolution of Jewish Spirit xiii

Part 1 Journey Forth

1 Lech Lecha: Individual Call to Journey 3

2 Na'aseh: Communal Call to Journey 21

3 Choose Life: Choosing to Journey 33

Part II From the known to the Unknown

4 The "When" of Ruakh: Erotic Shabbat 51

5 The "What" of Ruakh: The Synaplex Experience 65

6 The "Who" of Ruakh: Re-Membering the Tribe 95

Part III And You Shall be a Blessing

7 Vision and Visionaries 115

8 Future Shul 135

9 Revenue Revolution 151

Conclusion: And You Shall be a Blessing 171

Acknowledgments 177

Notes 184

Suggestions for Further Reading 187

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