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Renewal gathering draws 700

Nearly 700 Jewish Renewal practitioners are attending the movement’s biannual international gathering this week in Albuquerque, N.M. They have come to pray, study and create a “sacred community” at the 13th biannual Aleph Kallah hosted by Aleph: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal.Aleph’s executive director, Debra Kolodny, said there are 140 members of the Renewal rabbinic association, Ohalah, and 115 candidates enrolled in Aleph’s training program for rabbis, cantors and rabbinic pastors.Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shelomi, the 88-year-old founder of Jewish Renewal, sent a taped address to the opening-night session.Only 43 of the participants are non-American, hailing from a handful of other countries.