For traditionalists the concept of the Shabbat project and the emphasis on a single shabbat’s worth of observance might appear as the antithesis of Judaism, but as our community evolves, we need to look beyond traditional avenues of engagement and expand our reach into the wider community using different methods, to spread the word of Torah and the love of our community. We need to spread out Torah within the community because without observance, education and appreciation of our heritage there will be no next generation.
Diaspora Jewry for the most part, has always been entirely focused around the synagogue, be it the building, the rituals or the services. Nowadays most shules are underutilised and unable to focus on the sections of the community that need the attention. When you consider the role a Shule should be playing in the community versus what actually happens, it is clear that change is desperately needed. The accepted model of one Rabbi one Shule is an antiquated system that no longer benefits the community, especially considering that the majority of Rabbis have so much more to offer, than simply leading services and delivering a weekly sermon. We as a community need to give the Rabbi’s a chance to demonstrate leadership in the community, outside of the parameters of the four walls of the synagogue.
The Perth “Rabbi Without Borders” (RWB) experiment successfully led by Rav Brad Kitay, is an outstanding success. See what is possible when you are free from reporting to an institutional board, stuck in the past.
The Shabbat project this year, was one of the most positive events in our community. Over 500 people showed us what was possible for our community when we all work together and get on and just do the job, rather than wasting time on petty intra-organisational politics. Kol Hakovod to all the volunteers, helpers, assistants and people that joined in to make it such a success. You have lead the way and shown us what is possible and we are indebted to your leadership.