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Rabbi Hanniel Levenson Visit Nov. 24-Dec. 1

Rabbi Hanniel Levenson is a final candidate in our search for a Rabbi for JCM. Please find time to attend as many events as you can to meet, talk, daven, learn, and get to know him. We will want your input and feedback as to how you see him leading our community.

More events may be added as new opportunities arise. Please continue to check the calendar, and we look forward to seeing everyone next week!

Monday, November 25

Meet & Greet Open House Upcountry

2460 Omaopio Rd., Kula 96790

4:00pm - 7:00pm

Vegetarian Potluck See guidelines here

Please RSVP Below

Please check all that apply

 

Tuesday, November 26

Lahaina Meet & Greet

12:30pm-2:30pm

Warren & Annabelles 

900 Front Street (front door faces seawall on Front Street)

Validated parking for 4 hours

Please RSVP Below

 

Meet & Greet @ JCM

5:00pm - 8:00pm

5:00-7:00 Open House 

7:00pm Ner Tamid Dedication

Please RSVP Below

 

Friday, November 29

Shabbat Service

6:00pm Shabbat Service followed by light Oneg

Saturday, November 30

Shabbat Service

10:30am- open

Shabbat service followed by lunch and Torah study. 

RSVP for lunch below

 

Family Havdalah

6:00pm

Family Fun Night with crafts, music, and fun. Light dinner/snacks will be provided. All are welcome ages 0-100!

RSVP Below

 

 A letter to the community from Rabbi Levenson:

Dear JCM,

I hope that you are all well. I am excited to have the opportunity to spend time with you this month!

Below is a little bit about me and my journey to becoming a Rabbi. I look forward to learning from all of you about your journeys too.

My journey to becoming a Rabbi started when I was very young. Perhaps it began at birth, in Haifa, although my conscious memory does not go back quite that far. My Jewish roots began to spread in grade school at The Abraham Joshua Heschel School on the upper west side of Manhattan. It is there where I experienced a full immersion into experiencing pluralistic Jewish life. In Tefillah on school mornings, I often became the leader, ever seeking to engage my half-asleep peers. On the weekends, I participated in the junior congregation at Town and Village Synagogue. It became clear to me as my grade school years came to a close, that I wanted to continue studying at a high school that offered a challenging dual curriculum, and the new Solomon Schechter High School of New York City was a logical next step. At Schechter, I continued to lead and participate in the Va’ad Tefillah and Igud Hagigah and took on the role of “spiritual leader” for this budding high school, which was originally located in the Jewish Theological Seminary and then moved to its own space. In my sophomore year of high school, I chose to go abroad for the second semester and study at Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim. In Israel,  I realized even more what drew me so close to Judaism. It was not only the study of Torah and Talmud, but the Song. It is when voices join together in harmony that I feel most connected. It doesn’t get much better than singing songs, introducing people to warm and enveloping wordless melodies and learning with loved ones.

Upon graduating a year early from high school, I began my liberal arts education at New York University. I majored in Hebrew and Judaic Studies and had the privilege of studying with Elliot Wolfson and Lawrence Schiffman, among other scholars. The high level of academic learning of Religion drew me in as it always had. However, this time I was learning about my religion from an academic standpoint rather than a strictly religious one. I was enthralled by the study of religion in a university setting, just as I had been by the study of Judaism in a religious setting in elementary and high school. Each type of learning has enhanced the other and enriched me as a Jew and a person.

My interest for caring for the world and engaging in tikkun olam is an outgrowth of my Judaism and led me to enroll in a Masters Program at the Bard Center for Environmental Policy in upstate New York. Judaism teaches us to be stewards of the earth and I sought to do that from a practical standpoint, developing Green Roof Healing Gardens in hospital settings. 

Then, while writing my senior thesis to receive my Master of Science in Environmental Policy, I started studying at the Academy for Jewish Religion (AJR) in the Bronx. At AJR, my ability to explore experiential and experimental Judaism was born. AJR is a trans-denominational Rabbinical School where I interacted with, was guided by and learned from and together with Jews from all walks of life and practice. AJR readied me to enter into any community and shape an experience that is connected, nurturing and suitable to that community’s particular needs. I spent eight years studying at AJR, taking my time and exploring my relationship to Judaism and spirituality.

While I was studying at AJR, I also worked as a research coordinator at the Beth Israel Continuum Center for Health and Healing in downtown Manhattan, an integrative medical facility focused on a holistic approach to healing. I spent seven years working with patients in all states and stages of life. During this time, I also came into contact with Koshin Paley Ellison, a Buddhist monk and founder of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care in Chelsea. Under his guidance, my meditation practice began, and out of this practice, I expanded to incorporate yoga and became a registered yoga teacher and personal trainer. This was a natural progression for me after 15 years of competitive gymnastics.

Now, all of these experiences and practices support and enhance one another and, I would like to think, help to make me an effective spiritual leader. Each practice pushes the other deeper into the secrets of Judaism. I am continually drawing upon my tradition, my experiences and my training to offer a renewed approach to celebrating Judaism, spirituality and community.

Specifically, for me, a fully spiritual and religious life incorporates a number of different practices, including SITTING (silent meditation), STRETCHING (yoga), SINGING (chants, niggunim, Jewish prayers), STUDY (Jewish texts and the world’s wisdom traditions) SERVICE (social action) and SURFING (being on or near the water). These practices strengthen my mind, body and spirit and bring me closer to helping the community of the world, as well as individual communities, and to forging a deeper relationship to the Earth.
                                           

Aloha,

Rabbi Hanniel Levenson

Sat, December 14 2019 16 Kislev 5780