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Welcoming Rabbi Soffer

The Judea Reform Congregation community is thrilled to be welcoming Rabbi Matthew V. Soffer upon his arrival July 1, 2019. Over the coming months there will be a variety of opportunities for congregants to meet and greet Rabbi Soffer and his family. There are events for ALL: Rabbi Soffer’s first Shabbat Service & Oneg; a Durham Bulls baseball game; JRC Summerfest; and an Installation weekend. And there are many events planned to introduce Rabbi Soffer to representative groups of congregants. Question about Rabbinic Transition events? Contact our Transition Team Leaders Heidi Tyson at and/or Gary Tyson

First Shabbat Service & Oneg

Friday, July 5 at 7:30pm at Judea Reform
Please join Rabbi Soffer as he leads his first Shabbat Service at Judea Reform Congregation. To be followed by an enhanced Oneg. All congregants welcome.

Torah Study Meet & Greet

Saturday, July 6 at 9:00am (JRC)
Join Rabbi Soffer for his first Judea Reform Torah study and time to get to know our new Rabbi and enjoy a nosh. Contact Larry Marks at lawrence_marks@med.unc/edu. All congregants welcome.  

Transition Committee Gathering

Wednesday, July 10 from 6:00-8:00pm (offsite)
The Transition Committee will gather to meet Rabbi Soffer and to introduce all the Welcoming Rabbi Soffer events. By invitation. 

Board of Trustees Welcome Dinner

Tuesday, July 16 from 6:00-7:00pm (JRC)
Rabbi Soffer will meet the JRC Board of Trustees at a Jewish Journey Potluck before the first Board meeting of 2019/20. By invitation.

Tot Shabbat

Saturday, July 27 from 10:00-11:30am (JRC)
Families with children 0-7 years of age (older siblings are welcome) will welcome Rabbi Soffer by spending a Shabbat morning in song, learning, snacks, and celebration with other families with young children. For Families with children ages 0-7 (Rena Fraade, Director of Congregational Learning at

Take Rabbi Soffer Out to the Ball Game

Sunday, July 28 at 5:05pm (Durham Bulls Park)
Enjoy an evening at the Durham Bulls stadium as we take Rabbi Soffer's family out to the ballgame! Come be part of the crowd, mingle with your fellow Judea Reform congregants, and welcome the Soffer family to Durham. Tickets are $13 each and can be ordered from the Judea Reform website. All congregants welcome. (Please contact Heidi Tyson at for scholarship money to offset the cost of tickets.)  

Lay Cantor Corps Musical Introductions

Wednesday, July 31 from 6:30-9:00pm (offsite)
The Lay Cantor Corps, along with Allan Friedman and Rick Keena, will provide musical introductions to Rabbi Soffer with a Salon of personal favorites. By invitation (Allan Friedman, Music Director at


Sunday, August 18 from 5:00-8:00pm (JRC)
Come one and all for a summer spectacular Food Truck Rodeo & Musical Revue. Food, games, and activities for the whole family, followed by a musical revue and a concert with special JRC guests. All congregants welcome.

3rd-6th Grade Meet & Greet
Tuesday, August 20 from 5:30-7:30pm (offsite)
Families of rising 3rd thru 6th graders are invited to a casual evening to meet Rabbi Soffer and his family as well as catch up from the summer break. By invitation. For information, contact Becky & TC Morphis and Andrew Spector & Onyi Iweala

Getting to Know B’nai Mitzvah Families

Wednesday, August 21 from 5:30-8:00pm (offsite)
Enjoy a fun interactive evening getting to know one another and Rabbi Soffer. Dinner will be provided. By invitation (Carrie and Jason Schreiber at

Getting to Know JRC Religious School Teachers

Saturday, August 24 from 7:00-8:30pm (offsite)
Havdalah, dessert, and socializing with Judea Reform Religious School teachers. By invitation (Rena Fraade, Director of Congregational Learning at 

For Families with Special Needs

Sunday, September 8 from 12:00-2:00pm (JRC)
The Inclusion Brunch will enable people with special needs (and their families) to meet Rabbi Soffer in a calm environment. It will be structured to allow the Rabbi to circulate in a deliberate fashion, and give him information beforehand that will allow him to better recall these congregants, as well as understand what a "joyful and supportive connection to Judea Reform" looks like for them. Members of the inclusion committee will help facilitate. By invitation (Iris Weiss at 

Past Presidents Meet & Greet

September 8 at 4:00pm (offsite)

Past Presidents will meet with Rabbi Soffer and share stories of key moments in the history of leadership at Judea                               Reform Congregation. By invitation (Stan Paskoff at

Judea Reform Founders Brunch

Thursday, September 12 from 12:00-2:00pm (offsite)
Come meet Rabbi Matt Soffer at a luncheon prepared especially for our founders who joined Judea Reform Congregation in the 1960s! This is his opportunity to get to know the early members who are so important to our community. By invitation (Judith Ruderman at or Roxana Bossen at  

Annual New & Prospective Member Dinner

Friday, October 18 from 6:00-7:30pm (JRC)
New & Prospective members are invited to join us to mix, mingle, and share a meal with Rabbi Soffer, staff, the Board of Trustees, and our Membership Committee, followed by a Shabbat Service with a special blessing from Rabbi Soffer welcoming the newcomers. Open to New & Prospective Members (Lisa Josephs, Membership Chair, at


Rabbi Soffer Installation Weekend

November 1-3 (Judea Reform) 

 All congregants are invited to join Judea Reform Congregation in a capstone weekend of celebration, worship, and community as we come together for a meaningful and joyful installation of our new Senior Rabbi Matthew V. Soffer.

Here's the schedule:

Installation: Shabbat Services & Celebratory Oneg

Friday, Nov 1st 7:30p to 9:30p. During our Friday night Shabbat Service, our Congregation will officially install Rabbi Matthew V. Soffer as Judea Reform’s next Senior Rabbi. We will be joined by honored guests who will inspire us in this covenantal moment. Rabbi Elaine Zecher, Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Boston will lead the Installation ritual, and Rabbi Ronne Friedman, Temple Israel’s Rabbi Emeritus, will “fire up” the weekend with words of blessing over hadlakat neirot, the kindling of our Shabbat candles. Service to be followed by a celebratory oneg.

Installation: Community Shabbat & Luncheon

Shabbat, Nov 2nd 10:30a to 1:30p During Saturday morning Community Shabbat (note start time of 10:30am), our worship will blend Shabbat worship with our tradition of dynamic Torah study. We will engage in a vibrant Torah study with Rabbi Dr. Jeremy Morrison and Rabbinic Student Andrew Oberstein, who each have played a meaningful role in Rabbi Soffer’s rabbinical journey and each uniquely contribute to his ongoing understanding of “Torah as Conversation.” To be followed by a lox & bagel lunch (co-sponsored by Karen Fink and Lila Singer in honor of Rabbi Soffer)!

Installation: Havdalah & Dessert

Motzei Shabbat, Nov 2nd 7:30p to 9:00p Come kindle the lights of Havdalah on Saturday evening as we celebrate together in joy and strength. Our Congregation will be joined by leaders from the broader Jewish Community and together we will toast Rabbi Soffer with champagne.

Installation: Religious School T'filah

Sunday, Nov 3rd 10:00a to 11:00a The Religious School Community will enter into covenant with Rabbi Soffer during T’filah in the Sanctuary to mark the occasion of his Installation. Our students will share their hopes and dreams for our new Rabbi and teacher.

Anshei Mitzvahniks Class of 2018

Saturday, December 7 from 6:00-8:00pm (offsite)
The 2018 Anshe Mitzvah Class will share an evening of noshing, catching up, and remembering their journeys with Rabbi Soffer on their one-year anniversary. By invitation (Pam Barth at 



Fri, February 21 2020 26 Sh'vat 5780