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Rabbi's Week In Review - 5/3/2022

05/02/2022 06:19:16 PM


Over the weekend, Fay and I attended a wonderful benefit for the American Jazz Museum. The success of the event represented the success being experienced by the Jazz Museum after struggling to gain its footing for many years. (Full disclosure: Our daughter-in-law, Lisa, directs development and marketing for the museum.)  

The success of the Jazz Museum is a success for Kansas City — in giving proper due and respect to this city in the growth and development of jazz, and for celebrating this vital African-American art form.

For me, the highlight was the opportunity to hear the Mingus Big Band at the Gem Theater. The band plays the music of Charles Mingus, the late, great jazz composer and bassist who is a longtime personal favorite of mine. In addition to being one of the all-time great jazz composers-musicians, Mingus was known to never tolerate an empty solo from his musicians. They had to bring full emotion and commitment to the music.

The musicians of the Mingus Big Band did not disappoint. Solo after extraordinary solo brought standing ovations from the audience and the admiration of other musicians in the band. Their top-flight musicianship coupled with their obvious emotional commitment to the music made for a most special evening. It reminded me of why I first loved jazz.

I am writing this after attending our Kol Ami Congregational Meeting. Through the Clergy Leadership Incubator (CLI), a two-year rabbinic fellowship, we are engaging in the work of envisioning our future as a different kind of synagogue community. My takeaway from the meeting and our discussion about our future, and from other discussions by our CLI Design Team, is our sense of enthusiasm in what the future may hold for Kol Ami.  

The shared enthusiasm of our Kol Ami family can be and I hope will be contagious.  Being Jewish is about a lot of things. Certainly it is about sharing our passion and joy for living lives within a caring community. As we read from the Song of Songs during Passover and read about letting our passion show, let our passion for Jewish life and living Jewish values be our guide into the future.  

Tue, May 24 2022 23 Iyyar 5782