Area rabbis chosen to help expand Judaism’s ‘borders’

Area rabbis chosen to help expand Judaism’s ‘borders’

Rabbi Justus Baird
Rabbi Justus Baird

Two New Jersey rabbis have been selected as fellows in the second cohort of an initiative to help religious leaders make Jewish wisdom accessible to the wider American public.

Rabbis Steven Bayar of Congregation B’nai Israel in Millburn and Justus Baird of Princeton were among the 22 rabbis selected for the Rabbis Without Borders fellowship, a program of CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.

Rabbinic fellows gather four times in New York City over the course of a year to explore ways to bring Jewish values to settings beyond their synagogues, schools, communities, or institutions.

The latest cohort was selected from a pool of more than 80 candidates.

“We are very excited by the amount of interest generated by this program,” said RWB director Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu, in a prepared statement.

“Clearly rabbis recognize the need to apply their skills in new ways to reach a wider audience and make the teachings and tools from Jewish wisdom more accessible.

“This unique program offers that kind of support, helping rabbis to better communicate in both familiar and new venues, and to make Jewish thought and practice a real resource for the American public.”

The first session of the fellowship is scheduled for Oct. 18-19.

Baird is the director of the Center for Multifaith Education at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City. He recently founded Yerusha, a family-based Jewish education program that meets in Princeton.

Bayar has been rabbi at B’nai Israel since 1989. He is the coauthor of And You Shall Teach Them: Transmitting Jewish Values from Generation to Generation, which was published in August.

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