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

Dear Friends,

Despite the ever changing weather in the northeast over the past weeks, spring is here, and we are officially gearing up for Passover. As the words of the Haggadah express, Passover is considered to be “the Season of Our Liberation.” In truth, it is hard and painful to think in terms of freedom, while as of this writing, the hostages are being held by Hamas and war is rife for our Israeli brothers and sisters. However, as Jews, even our darkest hours, we have sought for the light, and so I look forward to our time together during the month of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar to share our Passover workshop and our formal Pesach seder.

It was good to be with so many of you during the month of March on the Gregorian calendar, as we observed Women’s History Month, which coincided with the Hebrew month of Adar, in which we celebrated Chag Purim, the Festival of Lots. For those of you who were not with us, you can read my sermon here where I have weaved together these two important events and introduced you to the first ordained female Rabbi, Regina Jonas.

b’Ahava – with love,

Andy

Rabbi Andrew R. Sklarz, DD, MSW, MA

He/Him/His

Our services included our blended style of worship with some participating in person and some on zoom . Note the empty chair for Rabbi Sklarz who was with us in spirit and vidoe on Rosh Hashanah morning.
Ian Pomerantz, our Cantorial Soloist and Shofar Master provided us with a takeah gadolah like none we have ever heard!

HIGH HOLY DAYS
2023-5784

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

About Us

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.

Join us in exploring Jewish New Orleans! March 8-10 2024

Touring as Torah – New Orleans Trip (March 8-10, 2024)

Participants will arrange their own airfare, arriving Friday morning or early afternoon. A block of rooms will be held through February 8, 2024 at the Renaissance Pere Marquette. this link to reserve your room: https://book.passkey.com/go/Synagogue2024

Friday evening, we will attend Shabbat Services at one of the two Reform synagogues in New Orleans. Thereafter, we will have dinner together. On Saturday morning, we will tour the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience. On Sunday morning, we will visit the National WWII Museum. On either Saturday or Sunday, we will arrange for a Jewish Tour of New Orleans.

Most importantly, we are planning to eat and drink in one of the greatest food cities of the world!

Please contact Larry Muenz at: Lmuenz@meritzmuenzllp.com for details!

Coming Up

Learning

We seek to deepen and expand our personal horizons through a variety of educational experiences including regular opportunities for Torah study.

Service

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.

Spiritual Exploration

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

June 3rd: One Life

Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, this film tells the story of London broker Nicholas “Nicky” Winton who helps rescue hundreds of predominantly Jewish children from Czechoslovakia in a race against time before the Nazi occupation closes the borders and what happens 50 years later. Thank you to David Roberts for volunteering to lead our discussion.

Currently only in theaters, we will keep you updated when One Life is available to view at home

 

Join us for our next book club gathering, May 15th from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., on Zoom. We will be discussing the little liar by Mitch Albom widely available at your independent bookstore, on Amazon or at your local library. Thank you to Larry Muenz for volunteering to lead our discussion.

Please RSVP to Judy Meritz at Judith.Meritz@gmail.com if you are able to join us.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend, to suggest books and to volunteer to lead discussions!

 

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