The Torah portion Shoftim (Judges) juxtaposes ritual purity with social justice. What can human rights activists learn from the Torah's wisdom to heal a world set on fire by societal ills like Ferguson's racism, and ISIS' & Hamas' terrorism?
"Overwhelmed by Argument" with Josh Kornbluth and Rabbi Menachem Creditor Videos of the Two-Night Conversation are now online! Part I - http://youtu.be/ZHYNN4eAKsI Part II - http://youtu.be/TxzFnJ3uYkg (thank you to Etai Weininger and David Gill, leaders of the Netivot Shalom Adult Education Committee, for supporting the event!) On August 13th and August 23rd, Josh Kornbluth and Rabbi Menachem Creditor engaged in a public conversation about Israel, Zionism, Judaism, Peace, and American Jewish activism. The description of and rules for the conversation are below. It was an intense conversation between two loving friends who both love Israel and ache for Peace, who both believe in two states and are both pained by Israeli and Palestinian deaths. The disagreements were passionate, nuanced, and respectful. This was, of course, only the beginning of the work ahead. We invite you to please, watch the videos. Tune in. Continue learning about ways to help. Pray for Peace. For more from Jos…
Conservative Movement Mission to Israel Update
August 2014 - Av 5774 Day 1 - August 18, 2014 (View Pictures)
Update from Rabbi Ashira Konigsburg:
50 people gathered at the David Citadel Hotel this evening to open the
Conservative Movement Solidarity Mission. Our delegation includes 15
rabbis, 2 cantors, several other synagogue professionals and many
lay-leaders. We're proud that such a large group has joined our mission
with little notice.
opened tonight with greetings from Yizhar Hess, Executive Director of
Masorti Israel, Laura Lewis, Executive Director of the Masorti
Foundation, and Shueli Fast, the new Chair of the Masorti movement in
Israel. Then our chairs, Felipe Goodman and Bob Slosberg facilitated a
conversation where participants described how they came to be part of
the mission and what they hoped to gain from it. Barbara Goldstein of
Roslyn Heights, NY said "I came because I needed to be here." Many
others echoed her sentiments. Some w…
The Jewish People as a Tribal Family: an iEngage Conversation With Rabbi Menachem Creditor Sunday, August 17 – Davening at 9:30am, Learning at 10:30am Congregation Netivot Shalom There
is a widely-held belief that the Jewish People are more divided today
than ever before – a claim that questions the sustainability of the
shared enterprise of Jewish sovereignty. In this conversation with Rabbi
Creditor, we will explore how the Jewish tradition conceptualized the
Jewish People as a Tribal Family, it recognized that Jewish collective identity was always a divided and tribal one, requiring the balancing of collective consciousness with individual and tribal sensibilities. This
talk is part of an ongoing series sponsored by Congregation Netivot
Shalom in partnership with the Shalom Hartman Institute of North
America. It is free and open to the wider community. Donations of $5 are
optional and support ongoing educational opportunities at Netivot
Here's what I believe: we are strong enough to be who we are. There's nothing less than the world at stake, and toward that vital task, I'm done making my advocacy about trying to change minds. Instead, I'm speaking my truth, and if it changes minds, fine.
So, when someone I love challenges me, I have to decide if that's a conversation worth having. If they're asking me how I feel, then I'll participate. If their goal is to tell me my feelings are illegitimate, they're not really my friend. As we learn in Pirkei Avot (an ancient Jewish text): "Love that is conditional won't last. Love that is unconditional will last."
Perhaps some of the arguments we've been in are not actually conversations, nor affirming. We should be speaking our truths, not debating, if we want to be part of the conversation our broken world truly needs.
Pro Israel, Pro Peace Rabbi Menachem Creditor I just received a "messaging email"
from J-Street, which read "We will be pushing the American Jewish
community to rally behind peace efforts with at least as much enthusiasm as it
rallied for Israel during this crisis." This is far from the most
worrisome email I've received, but I share here my own hurt at its phrasing,
which suggests that Israel rallies (including the one at which I spoke in SF
this past Sunday) was not a rally for peace. Nothing could be further from the
content and tone and message of the Israel rallies I've read about and
participated in. The rallies for Israel I know about have been
pervaded by prayers for peace. (The SF one this past Sunday was framed by the
Israeli college students who convened it singing Lennon's "Imagine!")
The JStreet email poses a dichotomy where I sense an important synergy pulsing within
the Zionism I witness pouring out from within the American Jewish …
Dear Friends, The Hope: American Jewish Voices in Support of Israel, a rapid-response book project on behalf of Israel, has now been published, and is available on Amazon. The book's table of contents is below, with some FB tags embedded. The contributors to the book are: Shira Dicker, Jonathan Horowitz, Nora Gold, Leah Israel, Rabbi Ben Goldstein, Rabbi David Baum, Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin, Rabbi Mordecai Finley, Rabbi Yael Splansky, Rich Moline, Alyssa Pinsker, Michael M. Rosen, Debra S. Rappaport Rosen, Rabbi Adam Raskin, Rabbi Michael Adam Latz, Josh Buchin, Rabbi Dan Cohen, Esther D. Kustanowitz, Rabbi Steven C. Wernick, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, Stacey Robinson, Talia Liben Yarmush, Tamar Barbash, Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Rabbi Michael Berk, Rabbi David Ackerman, Rabbi Mark Bloom, Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner, Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs, Yael Massen, Erika Dreifus, and Alden Solovy The book is currently available for $11.39 on Amazon here: amazon.com/Hope-American-Jewish-Voices-Support/d…