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October 23, 2009

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October 23, 2009

I attended this year's Kallah, since it was in Ohio. The Renewal congregation here is terrific: the Rabbi is intelligent and the members are my age. But I digress. I had to tell you about the Kallah. It was unbelievable, chock full of things to do and opportunities to participate, too. But the one thing I want to tell about is their handling of the "disability" issue. I, being disabled, wanted to participate in everything. And, I couldn't without a maximum expenditure of energy. The events were all over; the buildings were not accessible; and the transportation was not coordinated. What I want to say, is that it was faced up to like a mensch. They admitted their faults and offered me whatever I needed. They also offered me the next year's planning! I think, though late, they stepped up to the plate!

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The hamish way they do important work. They get people together and they expand their horizons.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 21, 2009

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October 21, 2009

I have been involved with Aleph for 20 years as a volunteer, student, and teacher. I am a rabbi ordained by a more main stream seminary, but I have identified for a long time with Jewish Renewal. Aleph has enriched by personal, spiritual, and professional life. I have attended 8 Kallot and every conference of OHALAH, the organization of Renewal rabbis, as well as local groups. I have organized several email discussion groups with and for Aleph.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the spiritual growth in my life, my spouse's life, and many other people.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The opportunity to grow and support and teach each other.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

always open and concerned and supportive, as well as very creative.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do more valuable work with more staff, and not spend so much time fund raising.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 20, 2009

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October 20, 2009

As an Aleph ordained Rabbinic Pastor (Shlicha D'Rabbanan) it is clear to me that my life would have taken a far, far drearier path had it not been for Aleph. Aleph provides for and supports the growth and existence of perhaps the most vibrant and alive genuine alternative to American denominational spiritual Judaism.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My return to Judaism with P'nai Yisrael, Charlottesville VA. growth as a services leader in P'nai Or in Philadelphia PA. My participation in Congregation Eitz Or, participation in Elat Hayyim retreats since 1996. Career as a Chaplain and Rabbinic Pastor

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Joyour, committed, deeply connected to the Source of All Being, and looking for new ways to follow in the path of the Holy One.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

dramatically expand it's access to, and availability within world wide Jewish communities.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 20, 2009

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October 20, 2009

ALEPH has played a key role in my Jewish development since 2000. The people are a mix of, on the religious spectrum, those who could be labelled 'fundamentalist' & 'secularist'. But primarily liberal religion & progressive in critical respects such as gender equality, broad inclusivity Similarly, political views range from anti-Zionist to 'far right' religious nationalists. It is a society, an environment encouraging us to see who we can be as JEws.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way I approach discussion of the Shoah.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get it more $$ & more staff

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the people I've met, davvened, talked, played with.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

good: staff more so than volunteers.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

raise awareness of the possibilities available within Judaism for every spiritualpath found in every 'full service' faith-tradition.

Ways to make it better...

more time had been available.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the inevitable constraints facing a spiritual organization that must function in the 'real' world.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Sleph get-togethers tend to be joyous occasions.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 20, 2009

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October 20, 2009

Aleph and the entire Jewish Renewal world has changed by life in so many ways. Our community, P'nai Or (Faces of Life) of Portland was created around our beloved Reb Aryeh Hirschfield of blessed memory. Since his unexpected and untimely death this past January, the community has come together in unbelievable ways and has shown that it did not exist merely because of the presence of one man. I have also experienced the teachings of many other Renewal leaders at Aleph sponsored events and independently and have always found that the experience deepened my understanding of myself and the Divine.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

how it supports member communities and leaders. It is open to how each individual comes to the Divine and honors their ideas and thoughts.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

March 4, 2009

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March 4, 2009

I had already been working as a cantorial soloist for several years before I entered the cantorial program through the Alliance for Jewish Rnewal (Aleph). Aleph has changed my life profoundly--as it is surely changing the practice of Judaism profoundly across all the Jewish denominations. Friday Night Live, Blue tzitzit, colorful tallitot, Jewish meditation, "Torah yoga", use of drums, dancing, and niggunim-chanting during services...all these things and more have trickled out into all the liberal movements, and they all began with Aleph, under the revolutionary and inspiring teachings of Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Rabbi Marcia Prager and many more visionary teachers. Unlike the other big movements, however, Aleph does not have a well-endowed infrastucture, and so is always in need of funding. It is essential to the future vitality of the practice of liberal Judaism (and perhaps even Orthodox Judaism, as they are not above borrowing from us too, if it works!) that Aleph receive the funds that they need to keep producing this stream of "living waters" that will renew Judaism as a spiritual and ritual practice!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

creating vibrant and deeply meaningful Jewish ritual experiences.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

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Ways to make it better...

Aleph had more money to make scholarships available to more people so that they could take advantage of the many workshops and training programs they offer on several-day or wk-long retreats. I would like to learn more, but I can't afford it!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

March 4, 2009

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March 4, 2009

ALEPH is a wonderful force for helping people discover joy, spirituality, wholeness and depth in Judaism. ALEPH has helped me to connect much more deeply as a Jew. The professors that I studied with in the seminary were inspiring. My experience of the annual conferences we have in Boulder CO are some of the most wonderful experiences I have in my life. I believe ALEPH brings astounding people and astounding energy to the practice of Judaism today. I will be going to Israel on an ALEPH-sponsored trip at the end of March and can't wait to share Israel with the people that will be going with us.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the worship services that graduates and students lead, the incredible courses taught in the seminary, the intimacy of the sharing that takes place during gatherings, the quality of the clergy they ordain and the affirmation I have received by being a part of ALEPH

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hire the people that are running it now to run for me. I would try to concentrate on additional fund raising.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being with other members at the annual conference and studying with them in week-long retreats. Both have given me a sense of community that is enriching and spiritually and socially nourishing.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

extraordinary individuals. I feel privileged to associate with them and consider many of them my friends.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

train more clergy, educate more people, put on bigger and better events, and do even more wonderful things for the Jewish world.

Ways to make it better...

we could get together more frequently and weren't so geographically separated for the most part.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the challenges that often face pioneers - the issue of being first, of being marginalized at times as a result of one's newness and creativity, and the resistance to innovation that characterizes much of Judaism. Of course, in early 2009, the recession is an additional challenge for this as all nonprofits.

One thing I'd also say is that...

if you are interested in a vibrant, committed Judaism, ALEPH is absolutely worth your support.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

March 2, 2009

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March 2, 2009

The Aleph Rabbinical Seminary has enabled me to become a Rabbi. I have never met a more committed group of people, who have one foot squarely in the many linages of tradition and the other pushing at the edges of possibility. Our virtual campus allows students from all over the globe to come together in study; both the teachers and the students are highly motivated, and they bring to the that study a high level of energy and eagerness for the learning. While we all share the same foundational coursework, each one of us becomes a different kind of Rabbi. In my opinion, and as I compare my training with students in other rabbinic seminaries, this facet of the Aleph Seminary surpasses the other rabbincal programs. I am so blessed.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the quality of Jewish professionals which it trains,and in the workshops, conferences, and opportunites for learning that it provides.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

go find 5 million dollars

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the people; the mission statement; the committment to the many faces of Gd, as the paradigm of Judaism shifts into this 21st century.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

outstanding

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

anything it wanted to! it could pay its staff a better wage; it could spread its methodologies of renewing Judaism to more people, organizations, and places.

Ways to make it better...

we could have gotten together more often.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money

One thing I'd also say is that...

Aleph has given me the channel; it's up to me to keep the frequency tuned up!

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

self

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

March 2, 2009

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March 2, 2009

I first encountered the impact of Aleph in my local spiritual growth chavura. The leaders of that group would come back from Kallah, the Aleph summer gathering with so much renewed energy and ideas, teachings and insights to share with the rest of us. But, I truly did not understand the organization until I applied to its rabbinic program. The whole thoughtful way the application process is conducted, with students required to come meet the community of teachers and students, the way that collegiality is encouraged and the deep, deep commitment to social justice and peace in a spiritually fulfilling, gentle fashion,have made me continually thrilled to be a part of this Jewish renewal organization. The teachers are rigorous and encouraging at the same time. The Kallah, which is open to all has an amazing array of choices of classes and services. I attended a workshop on Praise that opened up my heart in new ways. I learned about Sephardic prayer customs in a Saturday morning service. And I met people who ere as serious and as joyful about the study and practice of Judaism as I am.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeding new practices that create an inclusive, welcoming approach to all.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The times I am moved to tears or ecstasy in prayer services.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Consistently kind and thoughtful

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change the face of Judaism and change the world

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 27, 2009

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February 27, 2009

Aleph is a wonderful organization, that has truly advanced so many important issues in the Jewish world. From eco-kashrut and sacred foods to deep spirituality to interfaith work to ageing and so much more, Aleph has really pushed the boundaries of what it means to be Jewish in today's world. Aleph teachers are phenomenal, classes and workshops are inspiring and transformational - Aleph promotes a living, breathing, evolving Judaism for the heart, mind, body, and soul. Visit www.aleph.org for more info about this great organization!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

inspiring legions of Jews with a positive Jewish identity

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

fabulous teachers and classes

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

awesome

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

continue to change the world even more!

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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