Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Training future Rabbis, Cantors and Educators to be Mavens at Hebrew Union College

By Naomi Less

Storah On The Road

"Who's in? Who's out?
And what am I signing up for with this whole covenant thing?"
- "Today" Parshat Nitzavim - Maven Torah Reading Ritual

These and other tough questions were put to the test in Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's tefillot/services this morning. Storahtelling Founder and Master Maven Amichai Lau-Lavie, along with Director of Education and Training and Senior Maven, Naomi Less, led the rabbinical, cantorial and education students through a challenging Maven Torah Reading Ritual where students explored issues of inclusivity in Judaism and the boundaries the text puts in front of the community.

With the unprecedented invitation from all three professional schools, Amichai and Naomi presented a Maven "Demo" as a kick off for a new partnership between Storahtelling and HUC-JIR. Cantor Bruce Ruben (Cantorial School), Jo Kay (Education School) and Rabbi Renni Altman (Rabbinical School) met several months ago to begin planning for this event. All were in attendance along with Dean Shirley Adelson Monday morning to participate in the event alongside their students.

This January, Storahtelling will offer it's first seminary student-Maven training program available to rabbinical, cantorial and education students gratis by HUC-JIRprogrammatic.

While Storahtelling has worked with other Jewish seminaries before (Jewish Theological Seminary's rabbinical school orientation and their Rabbinic Training Institute for Rabbis in the field), this marks the first Maven training program that equips future clergy and educators with a "drivers' permit" to try out the techniques in their various venues.

Storahtelling has spent the last two years re-focusing on training agents of change in synagogues, congregational schools, and other centers of learning, but this first step in working with seminary students opens a new chapter in our work of disseminating Storahtelling's methodology.

For more information on the January Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute for Religion intersession training, please contact Naomi Less naomi@storahtelling.org

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