In 1985, Rabbi Hayim Herring left bustling Manhattan for Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park and never looked back. Since then, Herring has worked with the Minneapolis Jewish Federation and received his Ph.D. in organization and management—no small accomplishments.
Last year, Herring looked for a new way to share his experience with readers, and published an Amazon best-selling book. Keeping Faith in Rabbis: A Community Conversation on Rabbinical Education is an anthology, with essays by many faith leaders, that explores strategies for maintaining religious communities “in a world where the status quo doesn’t seem to last, and clergy are trained for evolution, preservation and adaptation,” says Herring.
Though the book has its roots in the American Jewish community, Herring hopes it will enlighten educators, social justice leaders, congregations, college campuses and all readers with an interest in modern religion.
Herring was inspired to write the anthology after reading Keeping the Faith in Seminary by Ellie Roscher, a Christian theologian with expertise in urban ministries. “She really focused on what the educational experience was like for students of Protestant seminaries,” says Herring. “I thought, ‘I have to meet this person.’ ” In August 2013, Roscher and Herring met and set out to “educate clergy in the 21st century,” says Herring. Roscher served as a co-editor of the book and the two collaborated on the introduction and conclusion.
“For me and for Ellie, as much good as individuals can do on their own, it still transcends the power of one when you work in a multigenerational faith community. You can amplify good in a way that you can’t alone,” says Herring. Keeping Faith in Rabbis is available at amazon.com. There is also an online component of the book on Herring’s blog at hayimherring.com.