Transforming the Status Quo in Scarsdale: What Should the Synagogue of the 21st Century Be Like?

Monday, February 3, 2003

Rabbi Richard Jacobs, senior rabbi of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York will present “Transforming the Status Quo in Scarsdale: What Should the Synagogue of the 21st Century Be Like?" at the next Food for Thought Luncheon Lecture. This lecture will take place at noon on Wednesday, February 5, 2003 at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s Mayerson Hall Auditorium, 3101 Clifton Avenue.

During this session, Rabbi Jacobs will share Westchester Reform Temple’s (WRT) transformation work over the past decade. His congregation is one of only a few congregations to be working on two synagogue transformation projects concurrently: Experiment in Congregational Education (ECE) and Synagogue 2000. WRT is currently working to “end religious school as we know it,” revitalize its worship, and deepen what it means to be a sacred community.

Rabbi Richard Jacobs has been the Senior Rabbi of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York since 1991. From 1980 to 1986, Rabbi Jacobs was a dancer and choreographer with the Avodah Dance Ensemble, a modern dance company that performs services in dance and concerts throughout the United States. Currently he is working on his Ph.D. in Ritual Dance at New York University. Rabbi Jacobs serves on the boards of ARZA/World Union and Synagogue 2000, where he is also a program fellow. He served on the international board of the New Israel Fund (NIF) from 1992-2001 and is now the co-chair of the NIF’s Rabbinical Council. Rabbi Jacobs is married to Susan K. Freedman and is the father of Aaron, David, and Sarah Jacobs.

In its thirteenth season, Food For Thought features scholars and members of the HUC-JIR community who discuss their fields of interest, expertise, and recent research with the public. The Department of Outreach Education invites the community to attend this informative lecture with Rabbi Richard Jacobs. A hot buffet lunch will be available for $8; reservations are necessary. There is a $2 fee to attend the lecture only. To learn more about Food For Thought, the Department of Outreach Education of HUC-JIR, or to make a reservation contact Marcia Cruse, (513) 221-1875 ext. 353.

The Rabbinical School of HUC-JIR welcomes Rabbi Richard Jacobs as the Rabbinic Alumnus-in-Residence from February 3-6, 2003. In addition to presenting at Food for Thought, Rabbi Jacobs will conduct student seminars, deliver a sermon in the chapel, and meet with students.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu