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03/29/2022 01:14:30 PM


Moving from burnout to hope

Greetings from California.

I am attending the first in-person meeting of Reform rabbis in three years. As with anything connected to the pandemic, the ability to be together as colleagues will never be taken for granted again! A general theme of the convention is helping rabbis deal with the stress these past two years have produced. We are far from the only group with such stress, and our issues are not nearly as bad as those in the first responder/health care fields. Not to mention teachers and parents. Nevertheless, keeping things going for congregations and pivoting on matters of tech and public health policy has not been easy. It is nice to know one is not alone. (Of course, I am so grateful to the staff and leadership of CBSW, not to mention the members themselves, who have made it much easier and more meaningful than many other places.) Indeed, I really cannot complain. (I feel so lucky being your rabbi, it’s like I am walking around with a winning lottery ticket in my pocket.)

Some of the workshops I am attending reflect the general feeling among colleagues that we all must move ourselves—and certainly others—from burnout to hope. There are also difficult conversations about the ethical lapses by colleagues, some in leadership positions, throughout the years. The reckoning is long overdue and painful but so, so necessary. I am also excited about the conversations about how the Jewish community will look in the future and ways that we can continue to pivot towards more relevance and renewal.

These days are indeed hard for everyone. Having colleagues makes it easier. And having you makes it all worthwhile.

Sun, February 5 2023 14 Sh'vat 5783