This week’s issue of the Jewish Advocate features a story on retreats that focus on Jewish masculinity.
Recent years have seen women take increasing control of leadership positions in non-Orthodox congregations. Now, some local men are taking steps to engage more of their gender in their communities.
“We know that men have been leaving leadership roles in the last couple of years,” said Rabbi Moshe Waldoks of Temple Beth Zion in Brookline. “Jewish women in their 50s who grew up in non-egalitarian settings, once they got empowered, they have tremendous energy to invest in their congregation.”
While Waldoks is pleased to see women become more involved, he is concerned that men are backing off. This weekend, Waldoks and the Men’s Study Group at TBZ are hosting the editor of the forthcoming book “Brothers Keepers: New Perspectives on Jewish Masculinity.”
Rabbi Shawn Zevit of Philadelphia is the director of Outreach and External Affairs for the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation and specializes in the challenges facing Jewish men, including raising Jewish boys.
“I will talk about the role of men in synagogue life, counseling Jewish men and discussing men’s rituals,” said Zevit. “All these ideas are trying to address the diminishing number of Jewish men involved in Jewish life in the liberal Jewish community.”
Zevit will speak as part of a weekend of events, April 16 through 18, which includes a men’s study retreat “Walking A Sacred Path” and a benefit Concert for Peace open to all with proceeds benefiting local and world hunger organizations.
For more information, visit www.tbzbrookline.org.