The high holidays at Aitz Hayim are best when we have intellectual challenge, well facilitated discussion, innovative integration of the new and old, improvisational interaction with prayer, ideas and music and multiple ways of creating a transcendent spiritual experience.
Through the years, we have gained from many bright, talented and venerable thinkers and teachers. But the truth is, it takes a person with a unique set of qualities to create the high-energy intensity and thoughtfulness we aspire to.
Rabbi Elan Babchuck understands our needs and has the ability and desire to facilitate the New Year we want. His background is extraordinary. He is a fifth-generation rabbi with an MBA and over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, and has served as the Director of Innovation for Irwin Kula’s CLAL since 2016. He created and runs a joint program with Columbia University Business School to teach spiritual entrepreneurship. He works with creative young Jewish innovators as well as those of other faiths who want to reshape the $1.2 trillion business that is religion in America. He has ideals and he is realistic.
An expert in design and innovation, he teaches and trains clergy all around the country in the process of “ritual design”, and looks forward to applying those principles to our experiences together on Lag B’Omer (see below) and the coming high holidays.
Like Irwin Kula, he quickly became the beloved assistant rabbi at a large Conservative congregation, and like Irwin, he chose not to stay but instead to pursue the opportunity to have an influence on the larger Jewish world.
With soulful and spiritual musicians like Grammy Award winner Howard Levy and with Larry Gray and Kalyan Pathak whose jazz, blues and ethnic roots enhance our prayer and, of course, Cantor David Landau, Elan will experiment with us to make our Jewish time together engaging, relevant and useful.
Familiarize yourself to him by watching these videos on our website which include a recent TED talk and a Webinar from the Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance at this link; www.aitzhayim.org/portfolio/elan
More importantly, join us and bring family and friends on Lag b’Omer, Wednesday evening, May 22 at 7:30 pm to the Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Road, Highland Park to meet him and understand how exciting the holidays will be.
And please let us know you’ll be there by contacting the Aitz Hayim office—
by phone: 847-835-3232
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s start by lighting a fire to introduce 5780.
Looking forward to an exciting future,