A Message From Our President

As one steeped in Jewish tradition and history, married to a Catholic woman, and having been involved quite comfortably, over many years, with just about every type of synagogue /congregation that you might find, let me explain why The New Reform Congregation Kadima feels like home.

The Kadima philosophy, like Torah, welcomes the stranger, considers kindness and empathy the greatest mitzvot, and is open to change and diversity based on evolving reason and connection to humanity, a process firmly attached to Judaic roots. This can be seen in the construction of our own new liturgy, flavored with the songs and poetry of a familiar siddur or machzor, but also filled with personal longings and inspired ideals about the character and meaning of our current lives. We are taught and guided in this quest by our rabbi and friend, David Oler. He is profoundly familiar with the entire range of Jewish experience, language and centuries of searching. Yet his personal journey has evolved his view of the purpose of religion to one of personal growth, so this knowledge is directed at inspiring us to be better human beings, extracting the greatest principles in our ancient texts and then putting them into action.

In a world where lessons of the past are forgotten in the search for individual power, pleasure and esteem it is urgent to our likeminded Kadima families to cultivate a more enlightened way of relating to others in our children. Kadima’s school principal, Mary Oler and her staff, in addition to conveying custom and culture to our students, focus especially on translating this into an ethic of empathy and compassion in our kids. I take pleasure in attending the students’ Shabbat service Friday evenings where they participate with sparkling insight in the interactive weekly sermon, their noodles alert, learning with joy.

Our members are a diverse group of people who believe in equality and shun any sense of superiority over others. This enables us to be a community, open to different backgrounds and individual preference in ritual. We are thus able to listen to each other’s dreams, fears and needs as we seek to transform ourselves and the world to a higher state, Consider if our “Goldilocks” congregation seems like it might be “just right” and worth your close look. You are invited.

Jack Henkin