Following a regular, extensive review earlier this year, AJRCA’s accreditation has been reaffirmed by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). (more…)
Rabbi Shapiro (’10) and Venice’s Open Temple were featured in a recent Jewish Journal Cover Story, “Opening Hearts, Minds and Temple” and an accompanying article entitled, “Serious Learning for the Spiritual Seeker” which includes a number of AJRCA alumni who teach classes and lead activities at Open Temple. Congrats to all on the wonderful work you do!
Watch Rabbi Diane Elliot (’06) discuss her provocative views on the current state of Jewish identity and education and her call for greater exchange among Jewish denominations as well as with other faiths. (more…)
This week, Rabbi Mel sits down with Rabbi Lori Schneide Shapiro (’10), the founding rabbi and artistic director of The Open Temple in Venice, California. Listen as she opens up about her path to AJRCA and the trailblazing work that she’s doing at The Open Temple. (more…)
The Ordination and Graduation ceremony is always one of the highlights of our year. To watch the entire 2018 ceremony, please click below. (more…)
“Why Judaism? A new generation of Jewish critical thinkers is asking. I look forward to working with these young spiritual seekers as together we create transformative experiences in response to the why.”
Thesis: “Spirituality and the Sustainability of the Reform Movement”
Summary: It’s my belief that innovative spiritual programs that provide personal meaning and connection to Judaism can help sustain the Reform Movement by helping to retain its membership and attract those yet unaffiliated. There are several reasons why I believe spiritual programs can help sustain
the Reform Movement. First, spirituality is on the rise in the Jewish population, surprisingly enough among its youngest cohort, Jews 35 and under. Second, scholars and religious figures alike believe that synagogues must create programs of education and worship that include a search for meaning and personalized religious experience. Third and last, there are a multitude of synagogues that have incorporated spiritual programs into their weekly scheduling, helping congregants successfully engage their members in meaningfully relevant ways.
Meagan Leigh Yudell
“As Chaplain, my goal is to hold a sacred space for the people I serve in their time of need, providing Hesed and Rachamim in everything I do.”
Thesis: “The Life of an Arnold Chiari Malformation 1 Jew Through the Lenses of Health, Chronic Pain, and Spirituality”
Summary: My thesis focuses on the history, the interventions, the dearth in research and knowledge on this rare genetic condition, and the Jewish approaches and sources for dealing with life threatening and chronic illnesses.
John Faulkner Guest
“As a caretaker of our musical heritage and an explorer or fresh musical pathways, I hope to speak for, and to, others in prayer, fanning the divine spark in individuals and strengthening the unity of our People.”
Thesis: “Commissioning Émigré Composers in Los Angeles, 1938-1945: Rabbi Jacob Sonderling’s Contributions to Jewish Musical History”
Summary: Rabbi Jacob Sonderling was a German emigre and the spiritual leader of a small synagogue in Los Angeles from the mid-1930’s until his death in 1964. His synagogue, Fairfax Temple – Society for Jewish Culture, was a magnet for other German Jewish emigres, including a number of well-established composers of secular music. Between 1938 and 1945, Rabbi Sonderling convinced four of these composers to write Jewish liturgical works. Rabbi Sonderling and the remarkable body of liturgical music he commissioned in Los Angeles are the subjects of this thesis.
Stephanie Rachel Kuper
“As a cantor, and granddaughter of three holocaust survivors, it is my hope to invigorate a reawakening towards the belief in Judaism, through a synthesis of traditional hazzanut and contemporary, creative participatory music, enlightening all age groups.”
Lisa Ruth Peicott
“As a cantor, my goal is to lift people to a higher spiritual plane through the power of music and communal prayer, especially our youth, ensuring that they too build strong connections to their Judaism.”
Michelle Bider Stone
“As a cantor, my dream is to inspire through music, learning, ritual and prayer, culture, community and conversation, a love for our unique traditions and deep wisdom.”
Thesis: “What’s the Deal with Congregational Singing?
The Inevitability of the Demand for Congregational Singing in the American Synagogue”
Cheri Renee Weiss
“My mission to create and elevate community and spirituality through liturgical music. My special passion is bringing Jewish prayers and songs to those unable to attend worship services due to illness or other reasons beyond their control.”