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March 16, 2011

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March 16, 2011

I had a conservative Jewish education, but except for the music, felt unfulfilled spiritually by Jewish practice until I found Jewish Renewal 30 years ago. Reb Zalman's attitude that one could be a Jewish practitioner of generic religion was a perfect fit for me. Aleph has given me the opportunity to explore, with fellow spiritual travelers (my "rebbe chaverim"), the growing edges of Jewish music, ritual, art, and prayer without fear of condemnation. By now many of my friends have become the rabbis and cantors of the next generation of Judaism. My teenage daughter naturally considers herself a "renewal Jew."

The Great!

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

I gave my daughter a Jewish renewal education and she was able to lead a Jewish Renewal Bat-Mitzvah service.

Ways to make it better...

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

Give it lots of funding so that it can offer more programming to a wider audience of Jewish spiritual seekers worldwide.

October 29, 2009

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October 29, 2009

I first experienced the Jewish Renewal perspective over a Shabbat weekend with Reb Zalman in the late 1970's. It opened me back up to my Judaism and started me on a journey of spiritual exploration within Judaism that has lead me to being active with Aleph. This is connection with my spiritual roots that run deeper and wider than any other I have experienced. Being at an Aleph gathering truly brings me to a place of joy and learning like no other in contemporary Jewish America.

The Great!

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

Confering about my congregation's needs with Aleph leadership; Kallah every other summer; experiencing Renewal rabbis, teachers, and song leaders.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 29, 2009

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October 29, 2009

As a young person who wandered away from Judaism looking for spiritual experience, it was Aleph and Reb Zalman who showed me it was all in Judaism, in deep and real ways. Thus my life changed and led me to the path I currently trod.

The Great!

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

My personal and spiritual growth

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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

so celebratory

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

helpful, well trained, passionate, real.

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

Oy, the people that would benefit by Aleph being able to pay more staff, get the word out and produce more retreats and printed material.

Ways to make it better...

It wasn't so expensive to attend some of the workshops.

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

Making a deeper connection with the next generation.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 28, 2009

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October 28, 2009

Raised in a Socialism Atheistic household in Brooklyn, my Jewish connection was cultural. When my marriage was breaking up and I sought help American Indian spiritual advisor friend Grehalva Grey Wolf told me "you're Jewish. You need to talk to a Rabbi". This sent me on a quest for my authentic Jewish roots. When I found Reb Zalman and Jewish Renewal about 27 years ago it was the beginning of the foundation of "home" in Judiasm. I was welcomed where I was and offered a large and varied plate to explore. While I appreciate wisdom in all Spiritual traditions I know where my roots are and delight in the teachings.

The Great!

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

having a solid homebase in Judiasm

More feedback...

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

the depth and range of the teachings I've experienced in a Jewish context.

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

bright enthusiastic open.

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

make peace in the Middle East, feed the hungry, bring the Messiah. Maybe it would take 20 mil. :)

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 23, 2009

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October 23, 2009

Aleph and all the renewal movement opens my soul. A place to dance, sing, shake and be with nature in a way that no other place can open that soul space for me. The various leaders and Rabbi who have explored subjects that make you sit aat the edge of your seat....

The Great!

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

When I go to retreats and my local community of friends who chat and create in Houston, TX

More feedback...

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

Reach us with their various teachers that travel to local cities and produce more classes and cd of songs.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 23, 2009

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October 23, 2009

Finally, an organisation that wants to bring the joy back into Judaism! When I'm in Aleph circles, I feel guilt-free and invited to be creative. There is a deep sense of the love of the Jewish people, the honour of the customs with the openness of outside influence and the re-discovery of internal beauty of our tradition. Praying in Aleph communities can be full of laughter, movement, meditation, soul-sharing or all of the above!

The Great!

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

A chance to be un-self-conscious about expressing love for the prayers, for God and for each other

Ways to make it better...

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

Give it more funding!

More feedback...

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

Learning about the 4 worlds model and how it can affect everything...

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

Dedicated

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

Be THE spiritual resource to take us through the next Jewish Paradgim Shift

Ways to make it better...

There were more Aussies and young people!

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

Bringing in young people and having other congregations see them as an additional benefit and not competition

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

Aleph is helping me find my neshama and preparing me to spread it to the world!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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!

More feedback...

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 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.

The Great!

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

More feedback...

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

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