The pattern for the next few years was pretty consistent. February would begin the planning for Rainbow. Most of the time an energy would be invested in fund raising to operate the program. Jerusalem Camp was essentially a Jewish village within a larger village of some 20,000 souls. The components of JCamp consist of a kosher organic vegan kitchen, serving over 12,000 meals in a two week period, synagogue, women’s tent, music and performance venue. Gatherings take place i a National Forest, remote from civilization. The process of planning and fundraising as much as 10,000 miles from the site is daugnting. Purchasing all that is neccessary and transporting to the site is unbelievably arduous and expensive. Credit for this goes to the amazing Zev Padway, who single handidly takes this upon himself with a level of expertise that could not otherwise be bought.

The work at Gathering is 24/7 and does not end when Gathering concludes. For those interested, the manual for this project can be e-mailed to you as an attachement. At our expense, we bring teachers, rabbis and counselors from Israel and the U.S. Post-Gathering, I generally travel to festivals, remote Jewish communities and generally try to reach and meet as many Jews as I can, returning to Israel sometime during August. This adds up to Rainbow taking up about six months of my year. This does not include the personal followup during the course of the year, with people I have establish contact and relationships with. If there has been successful recruitment of students, then there is the active involvement in guidance and assistance.

March 2000 found my father in the hospital in Jerusalem for triple by-pass surgery. This occupied my time for 3 months and required my leaving Bat Ayin to care fopr my mother and him. When he was released, I became his 24 hour nurse. Thank heaven for the training in the healing arts I received at Rainbow in the years before JCamp. From 2001 until December 2002, I lived in Nachlaot and taught and counseled in my home.

In December 2002, I went to Boulder, CO for a sabbatical. It was a great time. I was able to play a role in Kehillat Aish Kodesh, without the responsibilities normally expected of a rabbi. I could share Torah, lead services, offer informal counseling when I wanted, so there was no drain on my energies.

In fall 2003, I made a healing center at the Israel National Rainbow Gathering, did some outreach. From then until August 2004, Our family was beset by illness. First, I took ill with every malady I treated at Israel Gathering. Without going into the gory details, but it put me down for almost 2 months. Then my father had surgery and then my mother was a victim of gross malpractise and was hospitalized for 6 months, almost three of them in ICU. All this occupied all of my time and left little room for work. Aside from teaching in a graduate followship program and a couple of counseling clients, I was in the hospital night and day.

Once my mother was home and set with a live in care giver, I ws free to travel and decompress. I flew to Berkeley California. During the High Holidays and Sukkot, I was guest rabi at the Beit Midrash in Berkeley, leading service, Torah reading and sermonizing. Afterwards I spent time visiting friends and relatives from Long Beach to Mendocino County.

January 2006, I moved to the village of Tekoa, a half hour south of Jerusalem. It was the first time I had a home by myself that was outside of New York and Jerusalem. It afforded me time to re-evaluate my direction, refresh my vision, write and learn. It inspired me to create a new different center of outreach at Rainbow in addition to JCamp. Zev ran JCamp independently and did the most outstanding job. I had a much smaller infrastructure, but it allowed for me to have personal contact with more people as I ws free from running a place swarming with hundreds.

And now, I am teaching at Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo in Jerusalem and soon will be also be teaching once again at Bat Ayin. This blog represents the begining effort to expand my audience and refine my vision. May I be worthy of success.