Cantor Lily Caplan Blum
“As Cantor, I inspire through music. Now as a Rabbi, I use my voice to celebrate and comfort those I serve and teach future generations to “love your neighbor as yourself” and to always see others “created in God’s image.”
Thesis: “Death and Bereavement in Tanach: An Examination of Models for Grief and Biblical Characters Walking the Mourner’s Path”
Summary: There is much to learn from our biblical narrative and the characters it contains. By examining their stories and their individual bereavement, we see how the human condition responds to grief. The path of the mourner is not straight and narrow. Mourning is vast and complicated and no one path is “right”. So, I endeavor to glean different ways to deal with grief and modes of understanding bereavement from our biblical characters. By discussing the grief processes of our patriarchs and matriarchs, I hope to provide comfort to those in a state of bereavement and offer guidance to find comfort in one’s own “crisis”.
Julian Alexander King
“As a rabbi, it is my goal and passion to create a community that embraces the traditional with the alternative, a place for all families, including interfaith and LGBTQ, to call home.”
Thesis: “The Evolving Temple Without Walls: From Ancient Judaism to the Changing Modern Era”
Summary: My thesis is an in-depth look at the more traditional synagogues, that in many cases are seeing a decline in membership, attendance, and certainly impacting their financials, to those who are leading the way in creating the evolving movement towards “temples without walls” that utilize rented space, ballrooms, churches, gymnasiums, and various other places and ways to engage and affect change within their communities. There is a movement in Judaism that is seeking to create an alternative to entice those who are disenfranchised, disillusioned, secular, unaffiliated, and even those who are still part of a community to become involved and participate on some level. It ends with my own “temple without walls,” – the research, preparation, and launching of what is now the fastest growing, and largest temple in the desert.