At the start of Shabbat on June 28, Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebel will begin a weekend-long celebration formally installing founder Rabbi Ariana Katz as its spiritual leader. The congregation will also take the opportunity to celebrate its adoption of new congregational values, and have a post-installation Oneg and Havdalah at the Peabody Heights Brewery in Charles Village. All services and celebrations are open to the public.
For Katz, a 2018 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College outside Philadelphia, beginning the next chapter in Hinenu’s history is both exciting and practical.
“Our founding has been our story for the last few years and I’m really looking forward to the future, where our story is going to be about what we’re doing, what we’re learning and what we’re showing up for,” Katz said.
Part of establishing the shul’s future was laying the groundwork for congregational values. The final list of values includes Chesed, loving kindness and mutual aid; B’tselem Elokim, accessibility; Limud Torah, Torah learning and more. The June 28 Kabbalat Shabbat service at the Homewood Friends Meeting on N. Charles St. will honor these values.
“It’s been a full year of our values committee meeting to talk about our work in Baltimore and around the world, and how we want to do it,” Katz said. “This is a celebration of the formal process that had the input of every member of the congregation and it was passed by unanimous vote on June 2.”
The next morning, Katz will hold a brunch and Torah study along with Rabbi Linda Holtzman, one of her teachers from Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. The installation itself begins at 6 p.m. that evening, at which point the congregation will also present its new Torah, complete with a cover designed by artist and former Baltimorean Annie Sommar Kaufman. Those in attendance are encouraged to trek across Charles Village for a celebration, snacks and fellowship at the Peabody Heights Brewery.
“You really can’t keep a Simcha away from Hinenu,” Katz said, unintentionally referring to another one of the congregation’s new values (Simcha, joy). “If there’s a reason to celebrate, or even half a reason to celebrate, we’re going to make it happen.”
For a complete list of service and celebration dates, times and locations visit hinenubaltimore.org/installation.