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Showing posts from March, 2015

SAVE THE DATE! Netivot Shalom and the Center for Jewish Studies at UC Berkeley celebrate Robert Alter!


Let us tell you about what we are dealing with here. There is an order of business called the Fair Food Program. This program is sponsored by the Coalitin of Immokalee Workers in Florida, and helps poor laborers in that state who pick tomatoes to get a little bit of extra money for their work, and more humane working conditions. All the pickers are asking for is that buyers of their tomatoes pay just one more measly penny for each pound of tomatoes they pick. Just $0.01 more for a whole pound.
Keep in mind that the wages of these workers haven’t changed very much in 30 years! Walmart and every single fast food chain, except for Wendy’s, has agreed to join the program and pay a little more for the tomatoes. Our mission — which was inspired by T’ruah, the Jewish voice for justice — was to visit the Walnut Creek Wendy’s and convince the Wendy’s manager to send a letter (signed by …

The Internal Sin of Jewish Demonization

The Internal Sin of Jewish Demonization (c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Friends, I feel the need to share what I've felt is a demonizing of AIPAC and those of us (including me) who are active leaders with AIPAC, people who resonate with (and are active activists for) deep progressive values and human rights. It is as if some believe there can't be a world where those who lobby for US funding of Iron Dome (AIPAC did/does, J-Street didn't/doesn't) can't be on the same team as those who challenge the occupation (J-Street did/does, AIPAC didn't/doesn't). 

Also, no one in the demonize-AIPAC camp ever mentions that AIPAC LOST ALL OF SHELDON ADELSON'S FUNDING because AIPAC WOULDN'T make a statement IN SUPPORT OF THE SETTLEMENTS IN THE WEST BANK. There is a disease in the Jewish world, where each side accuses the other of not listening, and thereby of being devoid of the values that - at their core - unite us all as lovers of Israelis and of Palestinians,of Jews…

12 Years a Slave at 10,000 Feet [a #poem]

12 Years a Slave at 10,000 Feet [a #poem] (c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
can't live with my eyes forced them open blinked back blinding tears witnessed degradation reenacted on a screen at 10,000 feet.
a black man stolen, beaten, dehumanized.
suddenly a hand on my shoulder. "would you like something to drink, sir?" i look up into her smiling, friendly face. her black face.
pressed pause.
though the distance between real and act was clear they also suddenly merged, and i felt ashamed to ask for anything.
forced myself to breathe and act normal, to ask, to request - not ordered, not that word -  a drink.
stared at that ginger ale in shock, couldn't drink it just watched it sit there.
hot, horrified tears on my cheeks. forced myself to look up pressed pause again.

Is Israel Losing Its Soul? By ARI SHAVIT | 03/20/2015 2:33 PM EDT Via @POLITICO

Is Israel Losing Its Soul?
By ARI SHAVIT | 03/20/2015 2:33 PM EDT
Via @POLITICO When the astounding results of Israel's general elections began trickling in on Tuesday night, I was seated in Israel Public Television's new white-and-blue studio. The sense of shock that pervaded the freshly decorated stage was palpable. Suddenly my iPhone lit up with a new WhatsApp text. It was from the daughter of a dear friend, a university student, informing me that she intended to renew her European passport. This country has no future, she wrote. If I want to lead a normal life, I have to leave.When I returned home from the studio after a long and exhausting night, I saw that many of the texts I had received while on- air--from close friends, colleagues and family members--shared a common, morose theme: Rather than ushering in the dawn of a new era, the faint grey light of morning felt like darkness-at-noon. Many of Tel Aviv's neighborhoods and its prosperous suburbs seemed to be in mou…

For Zion's Sake I Will Not Keep Silent (cross-post with the Huffington Post)

For Zion's Sake I Will Not Keep Silent
 © Rabbi Menachem Creditor

It's true. I chafed at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's claim that he represents all Jews. I wasn't alone. Netanyahu's Jewish critics included comedian Jon StewartSenator Dianne FeinsteinDanish Chief Rabbi Jair MelchiorFrench Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia, and others. (The rejections of Rabbi Melchior and Rabbi Korsia occurred in the immediate aftermaths of deadly Anti-Semitic attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, where Netanyahu asserted that all Jews should abandon Europe and move to Israel.)

So here I sit, a progressive American rabbi opining on Israel's election day. And, despite what I believe will be the likely results of the election (Netanyanu's Likud will lose the vote, Isaac Herzog's Zionist Camp will win the vote but be unable to form a governing coalition, and Netanyahu will, as happened in 2008/9, be tapped by Israel's President to form a coalition, making him Prime Minister …

Some have asked me what I believe a solution looks like in the current Iran/US moment. Here goes:

Some have asked me what I believe a solution looks like in the current Iran/US moment. Here goes: An end to Iran-sponsored international terrorism and a team of trusted nuclear inspectors with full access to every Iranian site (known and currently unknown) with a trustworthy Iranian government and real military/diplomatic accountability with a trusted international coalition, all leading to much-needed economic relief and support of Iranian citizens (currently held hostage by their own fundamentalist leadership) and security of body and mind for the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the region and world. You know, Mashiach.