Welcome to The Shalom Collaborative
Sharing Inclusive Paths of Jewish Spiritual Exploration, Learning and Service
We are a welcoming spiritual community that embraces the progressive values of the Classical Reform Jewish tradition. Our worship, conducted primarily in English, is inclusive and accessible. We offer a warm, unconditional welcome to all who seek to join us in worship, study, and service, without regard to religious background or beliefs. One need not be born Jewish, be able to read Hebrew, or convert to Judaism to be a full, participating member. Interfaith families and people of all faiths, including the unaffiliated, are fully embraced. Members of the LGBTQ community are a vibrant part of our community.
This ancient Roman mosaic, from the collection of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, dramatically symbolizes our core values –
the diverse but cohesive community we hope to create, composed of individuals each of whom
is an indispensable part of our total picture! Photo Credit: James Robinson.
A Message from Rabbi Sklarz
First they came for LGBTQ, and I stood up, because love is love. Then they came for immigrants, and I stood up, because families belong together. Then they came for the Black community and I stood up, because Black lives matter. Then they came for me, but I stood up alone, because I am a Jew!
My dear friends,
As I write this message, my eyes are focused on the television, watching the report of two elderly Jewish woman in Israel, just released from their hostage ordeal in Gaza. Of course, their trauma will be with them and their loved ones for the rest of their lives.
As of this moment, the world is calling for a ceasefire from Israel, and for ground forces to not enter Gaza. I have no idea of that which may have transpired by time you receive this column, but the past two weeks have been nothing short of a nightmare for our Israeli brothers and sisters, and in truth, for all of us.
Let us stand tall and proud with Israel and our fellow Jews. May each of us consider the many ways in which we can show our support which may include outward signs of allegiance.
b’Ahava – with love,
Rabbi Andrew R. Sklarz
HIGH HOLY DAYS
From TSC Leaders: Todd, Merle, Michael, David & Sheri
It was wonderful to see so many of our TSC family at High Holy Day Services. We joined together in the spirit of our Collaborative resulting in an uplifting and inspiring High Holy Days experience. What a team effort! What some of us thought was not possible became a meaningful experience. We’ve heard from many of you how our worship exceeded your expectations. For some, they shared this was one of their most profound High Holiday Day seasons in part because of all we overcame to make our Services happen.
At the risk of leaving someone out, we do want to extend a special thank you to Rabbi Sklarz for his dedication, inspiration and guidance to make our Services so meaningful.
Thank you to our hosts, Marilyn Levitt and Andy Friedland, for opening their home to us.
We so appreciate Ian Pomerantz and Andrew Sheranian for providing the beautiful music that we treasure.
Many hours were spent by Michael Sigman, Merle Marquis and Todd Katzman planning the Services, recording the videos and editing. We also appreciate the support of Jen Zehler who provided technical support.
Thank you to our candle blessers, facilitators and readers for your participation that so defines the spirit of TSC. Paula Dickerman, Jay Berman, Andrea Kaiser and Marc LaCasse, thank you for delivering your sermonettes which were truly inspiring, touched our hearts and enriched our spiritual journey. We greatly appreciate your wisdom and guidance.
With the High Holiday Days behind us, we look forward to our continued spiritual exploration with our next Shabbat Service on October 13th. Additionally, we look forward to joining together for our upcoming movie discussion night, book club discussion, events, travel and all that we offer as we move forward in the life of our community.
With joy and gratitude for what we have accomplished together,
Todd, Merle, Michael, David and Sheri
We gather, as old friends and new, for prayer and celebration in a variety of formats and schedules. We are not a formal congregation, but rather a virtual spiritual community “without walls”. We will offer a variety of special programs and experiences open to all interested people, of various spiritual paths and practice. Our worship, whether Shabbat and holiday Services, always includes the sharing of the accessible, inclusive liturgy and music of the Reform Jewish tradition. Additionally, we join in the online worship offerings of Jewish congregations from around the world who share our progressive values. More informal gatherings for less structured spiritual exploration and celebration are also available in a variety of settings.
The Shalom Collaborative is ready to travel as a group! Our program of Traveling as Torah allows us to expand our spiritual growth and development as we explore opportunities for travel together around the country and the world, encountering Jewish history and culture – and personal connections!
Our program will begin on Friday March 8th and continue through Sunday, March 10th. We suggest you arrive early and stay later! We will plan on attending Shabbat services at one of the Reform Congregations. In addition to the Museum of Southern Jewish Experience we will plan on touring the National WW II museum. In addition to exploring the great cuisine of New Orleans and other sites this will be a trip you will want to join us for. If you are interested, please let Todd Katzman or Larry Muenz know.
We seek to deepen and expand our personal horizons through a variety of educational experiences including regular opportunities for Torah study.
The eternal Jewish commitment to Tikkun Olam, engaging in the work of justice and peace in the world, and service to our respective local communities, is one of our defining core values.
Our worship, whether Shabbat and holiday Services, always includes the sharing of the accessible, inclusive liturgy and music of the Reform Jewish tradition.
News & Announcements
Join us on Wednesday, January 10 at 7:00pm to discuss the movie Maestro. Bradley Cooper directs and stars as Leonard Bernstein. In theaters November 22nd and streaming on Netflix December 20th.
Contact Judy Meritz at Judith.Meritz@gmail.com for more information.
Join us for our next book club gathering, December 20th from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., on Zoom.
We will be discussing The Heaven & Earth Grocery by James McBride.
This discussion will be led by TSC member Barbara Roberts. If you haven’t joined our book club discussions consider joining us. For more information contact Judy Meritz at Judith.Meritz@gmail.com