Our special guest this week is Rabbi Hayim Herring, CEO of the Herring Consulting Network. Rabbi Herring was executive director of STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal), a national foundation for congregational innovation and executive leadership development, where he created the Synaplex Initiative. Herring has served as a senior rabbi of a congregation, assistant director of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and has published dozens of scholarly articles on the American Jewish community. He holds degrees from Columbia University and The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he was ordained, and a doctorate in Organization and Management from Capella University’s School of Business. Rabbi Herring recently authored a book about leadership, synagogues and the broader American Jewish community, entitled Tomorrow’s Synagogue Today: Creating Vibrant Centers of Jewish Life.
This week's Torah Portion- Parashat Ki Tavo (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8)- begins with Moses instructing the people of Israel to bring the first fruit they reap in the holy land to the Holy Temple in gratitude to God. The portion continues to state the laws concerning tithes given to the Levites and to the poor. Moses then gives the children of Israel instructions on the blessings and curses they must say at Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal (the "Mount of the Blessing" and the "Mount of the Curse"). At the end of the portion, Moses gives lists of good and bad things that will happen to the people of Israel if they follow or stray from the Torah.