Above: 65 men attended the 2016 Anshei Darom regional retreat Feb 19-21 at Camp Ramah Darom 

By Steve Krodman

The Anshei Darom regional retreat is an annual event in which members of Men’s Clubs throughout the southeast meet at Camp Ramah Darom for a weekend of learning, religious observance, camaraderie, and just plain fun.

This year’s retreat had near-record attendance, with 65 men present – 46 from Georgia, 14 from Tennessee, and seven from the Carolinas. Georgia’s contingent included five attendees from Augusta and the remainder from six Atlanta-area synagogues: Etz Chaim, Beth Shalom, B’nai Torah, Gesher l’Torah, Congregation Ariel, and Kol Emeth. The 33 attendees from Etz Chaim’s Men’s Club made up the largest single delegation.

The guest speaker for the weekend was Stan Greenspan, Executive V.P. of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs (FJMC), the mission of which is to involve Jewish men in Jewish life by building and strengthening men’s clubs in the Conservative/Masorti movement. Stan’s topics included discussions on teaching the importance of the Jewish state to our grandchildren, and the connection between the FJMC and the World Zionist Organization.

Rabbi Josh Barton of the West End Synagogue (Nashville, TN) and Rabbi David Sirull of Congregation Adas Yeshurun (Augusta, GA) provided Torah insights and musical entertainment. Rabbi Sirull is a well-known musician who performs under the sobriquet “The Redneck Rabbi,” while Rabbi Barton demonstrated his expertise on that least typical Jewish musical instrument (at least as far as klezmer bands are concerned) – the bagpipes.

Other speakers at the retreat included Oded Shorer, representing the Israeli Consulate, and Guy Tessler, president of Conexx, who spoke on the politico-cultural and economic ties between the United States and Israel.