Join Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block as a Scholar-in-Residence for a unique Netivot Shalom Shabbat focused on domestic social justice. (for more information, click here.)
Jason is the Rabbi-in-Residence for Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, and Deputy Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action in Washington, D.C. Over the course of Shabbat, he will give a number of teachings.
Theodore Parker famously wrote, "We cannot understand the moral Universe. The arc is a long one, and our eyes reach but a little way; we cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; but we can divine it by conscience, and we surely know that it bends toward justice."
While Parker's description is abstract, Jews have long understood the building of just societies to be a core part of what we are called to do as Jews. Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice engages the diverse American Jewish community as part of larger multifaith movements for justice to build a more just, fair, and compassionate society. Bend the Arc works on domestic policy and politics, on such issues as criminal justice reform, immigration, LGBT equality, minimum wage, and voting rights.
Friday night - Service starts at 6pm, followed by 7pm Dinner*
During Davening: For the past three decades, some have painted the American Jewish Community as one that is becoming increasingly insular and conservative as it grows more prosperous and integral to American Society. Is that really the case?
Thoughts on Mass Incarceration by a Warden's Son - Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block grew up in staff housing of New York State Prisons; now he lobbies in the U.S. Congress on behalf of criminal justice reform. Hear some of his reflections on mass incarceration, the prospects for reform, and the role of the Jewish community in this movement.
Shabbat Morning Drasha
"In a Place Where There Is No One..." -- Models of Leadership In Exodus
Shifra, Puah, Pharaoh, Moses, Aaron, Miriam -- the Exodus contains a variety of models of leadership. What can we learn from them in confronting contemporary challenges on our society?
Saturday - after Kiddush talk starts at 1pm
When Jews Speak of Social Justice: Ancient and Modern Articulations
How have ancient and contemporary Jews framed Jewish understandings of social justice? From Isaiah to Nachmanides to Emma Goldman...to you.
Bio: Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block is Rabbi-in-Residence at Bend the Arc and Deputy Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action, where he works to bring the voices of progressive American Jews into the halls of power in Washington DC. He has marched against police brutality with national leaders in Ferguson and in Baltimore and helped lead a high-profile interfaith die-in protest at the U.S. Capitol to highlight the policy demands of the#BlackLivesMatter movement. In October 2013, Rabbi Kimelman-Block was arrested at a national demonstration for immigration reform alongside members of Congress during an act of civil disobedience on the National Mall. He also directs the Selah Leadership Program, which trains a cross-section of executive-level social justice leaders to be effective, sustainable and collaborative agents for change. He is the co-editor and co-author of Just: Judaism. Action. Social Change and served as the Director of the PANIM Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values. He received his rabbinic ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and his B.A. in Political Science from Grinnell College. Jason is also a founding member of Eastern Village Cohousing, where he lives with his wife, sustainable food activist and KOL Foods founder Devora Kimelman-Block, and their four children.
I had a beautiful day today. I stood with my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.
I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.
Too. Much. War.
The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…