Photo by Charles Ward

A New Year Brings New Experiences


In 2017, Congregation B'nai Israel in Monroe, Louisiana (where I am part-time Rabbi) received a grant from the Kallah Project to host three congregational retreats over the next three years.  Included in the grant were some generous funds and the opportunity to work with mentor, Rabbi Barb Moskow to see us through the entire process of creating and hosting a congregational retreat.  After several months of planning, creating and working together, our Kallah will take place the weekend of January 26-28 at the beautiful Wesley Center in Woodworth, Louisiana. 

We have almost 50 members attending ranging in age from 1 year to almost 90 years old.  We will celebrate one another over a spiritual and fun Shabbat weekend.  Activities include: creative worship services, food, study, zipline, Mah Jong, a Labyrinth, Havdalah under the stars, a bonfire with S'mores and Songs, Arts & Crafts, a Tikkun Olam project, and did I mention food! Thanks to our entire committee who have worked so hard to make this a reality - Susan Marx (chair); Sandra Blate, Kelsey Laudenheimer, Deb and Brianna Roa, Yvonne Stephan, GayNell and Alan Barth, Bob Eisenstadt and Mike Rhymes and our Temple Office Manager, Shirley.  We are grateful to have Song Leader, Nick May from Baton Rouge join us as well.  And special thanks to Visual Concepts and Designs in Alexandria for all the great free stuff they gave us for our hospitality bags.  The Wesley Center provides the perfect setting for us to be together in the beauty of nature for a weekend of fun, community and spiritual renewal.  Many thanks to Susan, Brandon and Tony at the Wesley Center who have worked right along with us to make this Kallah special. 

A few days after the Kallah, I will be leaving for a Jewish Cultural Heritage Tour of India.  I first visited India about 3 years ago and I found it to be a fascinating and vibrant country.  I could not wait to go back. On this tour, I will visit 7 different cities and even have the opportunity to lead part of a Shabbat service in Calcutta.  I can't wait to share more with you when I return.

Stay warm, safe and healthy everyone.  Namaste!

Rabbi Judy

"My job as a Rabbi is to bring people closer to be an extension of be with people in their happiness and in their sadness."