Our partner, STAR (Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal), has launched its first blog, CO-STAR.
In his first post, our good friend Rabbi Hayim Herring explains the origin of the name:
I remember Rabbi Harold Kushner, a rabbi who has influenced me, once either saying or writing that you shouldnâ€™t pray for anything which youâ€™re unwilling to act on yourself (my paraphrase). Iâ€™m taking cues for the purpose of STARâ€™s blog from one of the morning prayers before the Shema (the ahava rabbah). It has four key words which will guide our action on CO-STAR:
- To learn (lilmod)â€”about exciting developments in and around the synagogue world
- To teach (lâ€™lamed)â€”or share our learning with anyone interested
- To keep (lishmorr)â€”the focus on things which are working well
- To implement (laâ€™asot)â€”change by sharing ideas of talented, concerned individuals.
Thatâ€™s why we named our blog CO-STAR. The name reflects our desire to be co-creators of knowledge, innovation and excellence in existing and emerging synagogue life. We arrived at that name by inviting our STAR PEER rabbis to suggest a name for the blogâ€”and they were creative! They recommended about 40 terrific ideas. But we settled on CO-STAR because it best speaks to our belief that through partnership with our readers, we can together share our insights about synagogue lifeâ€”the good and the bad, the creative with long-term potential and what seems to be an interesting fad. While respecting whatâ€™s working, we want CO-STAR to challenge us to think how synagogues can reach and touch a more diverse Jewish community.
Pronounced: shuh-MAH or SHMAH, Alternate Spellings: Sh’ma, Shma, Origin: Hebrew, the central prayer of Judaism, proclaiming God is one.