Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nurturing Talent

A Sunday off following Shabbat.  I attended my usual services, Beth Emeth for kabbalat shabbat and AKSE for shabbat morning but couldn't get it together for minyan this morning.  My daughter Rozzy came for a visit, so I really wanted to be home for her and I wanted to get some cleaning done this morning.  Minyan starts at 8AM on Sundays, so the real time away is about 7:45-9:15 if I keep the chats short over coffee.  They usually get a minyan on Sunday mornings so my presence has no material impact on the proceedings, among other rationalizations.  No getting around it, the only one that I inconvenience myself to get to is Beth Emeth's kabbalat shabbat.  I like that one hour's respite, scholarly rabbi, inspiring cantor, skilled organist and a hundred other worshippers who also made Friday night a personal destination.

Beth Emeth has a student from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College assisting this year.  They gave her a relatively benign trial by fire, allowing her to conduct most of the service and present the sermon, which was a minor let down, as I had hoped to hear Rabbi Robinson's always learned message.  Rabbi Stern did OK for a start.  She seemed perky and enthusiastic, reasonably articulate, and with a beginning, a middle, and an end to the talk though the Jewish content and citations could have been more thorough.  I think she'll develop adequately with Rabbi Robinson and hopefully Rabbi Grumbacher showing her the ropes.

AKSE lags behind in developing people's skills.  Some of the Bar Mitzvah boys advance their proficiency, but for the most part they disappear within a year or two.  There is a tendency to find people who already know how to do whatever and put them on the schedule.  Some very negative long term outcomes eventually arrive this way.

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