March 20, 2019

Dear Friends,
As you know, Temple Israel Center has graciously honored my years of work with and for the synagogue community by establishing a Fund for Jewish Learning, Thought and Culture in my name. I am deeply grateful to the leadership, and to all the contributors, for this tribute. And I share the excitement of the community at the imminent launching of the Fund's programming on March 31.
We are all familiar with the press accounts of tensions and competition between the Jewish center in Israel and the Diaspora communities, especially those in North America. On the morning and early afternoon of Sunday March 31, four extraordinary educators and public intellectuals will open for us new windows of understanding on this very timely and crucial subject. Rabbi Shai Held, Rabbi Jane Kanarek, and Rabbi Ethan Tucker are all religious and academic figures of great influence, who have emerged from our Conservative Movement, and have been trained at its institutions. They will present and explicate Biblical, Rabbinic, and Jewish legal and philosophical texts, in order to offer us a much enriched and nuanced understanding of the complex and delicate interactions among the various centers of Jewish life throughout our history. It will be a fascinating and enlightening journey, and a feast of Jewish learning.
Among the Fund's purposes is exposing our community to Israeli scholars and educators. And it is thus a special privilege for us that Yair Ettinger, with whom I have been working this year under the auspices of the Shalom Hartman Institute, will deliver a culminating talk that day as well. Yair is a veteran Israeli journalist and foreign correspondent, who has also been a Fellow at the Brookings Institution.
This launching event will give everyone a taste - in the best possible way - of how this new Fund will contribute to the intellectual and spiritual life of the Temple Israel community and beyond. The program is free, but registration is requested. You can easily do that here.
I look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.
-- Rabbi Gordon Tucker