Reflections from Day Two of Convention 2019 in Montreal

Posted on: Monday May 6, 2019

By Diana Denza, Communications Specialist

Our opening Limmud sessions and professional workshops covered an array of important topics, including love and inclusion as a halakhic value, similarities and differences between Canadian and American Jewish communities, navigating the first five years of the rabbinate, counseling communities through mass tragedies, and social justice and the oppression of the Jewish woman. 

Afterwards, attendees had a chance to connect with colleagues over lunch. Women members of the Rabbinical Assembly met for a special lunch to discuss issues specifically facing women in the rabbinate. Lunch was followed by a business meeting, where RA members received reports on nominations, membership, finances, and fundraising before incoming Chief Executive Jacob Blumenthal offered inspiring remarks about times of transition, as well as the importance of tradition and connection.

After the business meeting concluded, attendees separated into various professional workshops and repeated Limmud sessions. Topics included compensation negotiation techniques, talking about taboo topics, how to handle polarizing conversations in contemporary discourse, and more. While some attendees followed these sessions with exploring Montreal's charming parks, museums, and shopping centers, others remained at the hotel for creative workshops in improv and Jewish meditation. 

Before dinner, attendees had the opportunity to schmooze with Jacob Blumenthal. A number of colleagues shared their hopes, dreams, and changes they'd like to see in our RA and in the movement in general. Later that evening, attendees gathered to honor the 20th anniversary of the first rabbinic ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. RA Vice President Stewart Vogel introduced Bradley Shavit Artson, the dean of Ziegler, who offered celebratory remarks. 

After a full day of Limmud sessions and professional workshops, attendees had the chance to unwind with a night of music and comedy presented by Shtreiml and Yid Life Crisis before exploring Montreal's nightlife of bars, pubs, and jazz clubs. Recently-ordained rabbis ended a full evening with a special event exclusively for them. 

We look forward to a busy Day 3 of Convention!