Prepare to revive your Jewish community with the transformative power of the Divine spirit.
“Rabbi Baruch HaLevi and Ellen Frankel have correctly identified Ruakh as a key missing ingredient in Jewish institutional life, especially in the synagogue. Their call is for a revolution of spirit, a rejuvenation of our purpose, our worship, even our sacred spaces. It is recognition that the craving for community can bring people back to our institutions, if we welcome, engage and inspire them.”
—from the Foreword by Dr. Ron Wolfson
In this practical and engaging guide to reinvigorating Jewish life, Rabbi Baruch HaLevi and Ellen Frankel identify the difference between a living synagogue and a dying one, and offer methods for reviving the Jewish spiritual centers—federations, community centers, institutions and synagogues—that serve as the heart of Jewish tradition and your life. They offer practical strategies for sustaining and expanding transformation, including tips for providing impassioned leadership, inspired programming and inviting sacred spaces. Whether you are clergy, congregant or community member, this guide will help you awaken your spirit and enliven your journey to a Ruakh-filled life.
“Read this extremely interesting and impressive book.... It offers hope, courage and inspiration to all who long to find or renew a congregation with spirit, learning, art, sustainability and radical hospitality.”
—Rabbi Rachel Cowan, senior fellow, Institute for Jewish Spirituality
“Rabbi B and Ellen Frankel have opened their hearts, directed their minds, and shared their soulfulness so that a path long covered is again revealed! We are invited to dance our liberation, and the ancient incense of Torah ascends through their wondrous insights.”
—Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies; vice president, American Jewish University; author, Passing Life’s Tests: Spiritual Reflections on The Trial of Abraham, the Binding of Isaac
“Inspiring! Refreshing! Visionary and pragmatic, traditional and innovative, personal and institutional, spiritual and authentic! A must read for anyone interested in the reimagining and revitalizing of contemporary Jewish life.”
—Rabbi Irwin Kula, co-editor, The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices: CLAL’s Guide to Everyday & Holiday Rituals & Blessings; president, CLAL—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
“For those who have lost faith in our people and institutions.... Provides important ideas to help us improve our own synagogues and communities. Ruakh might also be the most important missing ingredient of Federation life. Revolution of Jewish Spirit can help us there as well.”
—Barry Shrage, president, Combined Jewish Philanthropies
“Every religious leader, clergy and lay, will find something of value for the managing and guiding of religious institutions to become centers of spirit and community. An important addition to the happily widening bookshelf for all interested in synagogue transformation.”
—Rabbi Mordecai Finley, spiritual leader, Ohr HaTorah Synagogue, Mar Vista, California; professor of liturgy, mysticism, and Jewish ethics, Academy for Jewish Religion
“From radical hospitality, to synaguides, to under-constructionists, this book made me think about the language we use in Jewish life today and the way it can revive or dilute human spirit.... An intimate portrait of synagogue life ... to help readers discover and re-discover the wonder of Judaism.”
—Dr. Erica Brown, author, Inspired Jewish Leadership: Practical Approaches to Building Strong Communities and Spiritual Boredom: Rediscovering the Wonder of Judaism
“An inspiring and insightful manifesto to breathe life into the American synagogue in this age of choice and change. Filled with candid advice and specific examples of purpose and strategy, it’s valuable reading for clergy and lay synagogue leaders.”
—Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg, Institute for Jewish Spirituality
Rabbi Baruch HaLevi, DMIN, a dynamic speaker on the topics of Judaism, spirituality and building inclusive communities of faith, is spiritual leader of Congregation Shirat Hayam, one of the fastest growing congregations in the Greater Boston area.
Ellen Frankel, LCSW, a member of Congregation Shirat Hayam, is a popular author and speaker on spirituality and wellness. Her work has been featured on TV nationally and in The Boston Globe, The Jewish Journal North of Boston and The Jewish Advocate.
Dr. Ron Wolfon is Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University in Los Angeles and cofounder-president of Synagogue 3000. He is author of The Spirituality of Welcoming: How to Transform Your Congregation into a Sacred Community and many other books.