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Showing posts from January, 2016

Historic Agreement on the Kotel is Reached!

Historic Agreement at the Kotel  (Western Wall) By Yizhar Hess, CEO Masorti Israel
A historic compromise that redefines the relationship between religion and state in Israel has been reached! After 25 years of fraught negotiations, for the first time in the history of the State of Israel, non-orthodox Judaism has achieved formal status in our holiest of places - the Kotel.
Finally, there will be one Kotel: Walking through one common entrance, visitors will be able to choose which part of the Kotel they would like to pray or visit - the Northern Plaza of the Western Wall which respects Orthodox custom, or the Southern Plaza that respects the egalitarian traditions of both Conservative and Reform Judaism. The two plazas, north and south, will provide Torah scrolls, siddurim, tables for Torah reading and everything necessary for every man and woman to pray as they see fit.   Every month, Women of the Wall will be able to pray, undisturbed in the Southern Plaza. 
Equality and pluralism: This a…

Rabbis Against Gun Violence (#RAGV) Press Release: National Coordinator Announcement



Rabbis Against Gun Violence (#RAGV) Names Eileen Soffer as National CoordinatorPress release
January 27, 2016 — Rabbis Against Gun Violence (#RAGV) announced that its Executive Leadership Team has appointed Eileen Soffer as its inaugural National Coordinator.
“Eileen’s experience and longstanding commitments, including previous work as Deputy National Field Director for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and community programming for Jewish organizations including Jewish LearningWorks in the SF Bay Area, make her the ideal National Coordinator for Rabbis Against Gun Violence #RAGV,” said Rabbis Against Gun Violence chair, Rabbi Menachem Creditor.
“#RAGV is galvanizing its 840+ members to reach out through Jewish communities to the tens of thousands of our constituents, both Jews and people of other faiths, to say ‘enough!’” said #RAGV Executive Leadership Team member Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin  “We believe in the value of every h…

CNS Social Action: Men's Shelter Dinner Report

The Men's Shelter Dinner Report Men's Shelter Dinner, January 3, 2016 Sometimes the cup runneth over, that is, the volunteer cup.  Nearly as distressing as not enough volunteers is too many volunteers.  Too many volunteers mean folks go away from the experience feeling they weren't needed and don't return for another day.  That is one reason we maintain a handy sign-up sheet, on-line (  The various tasks and shift times are listed for several months in advance so that potential volunteers can sign up early (and often!).  In January, several new, potential volunteers contacted me to see if they could volunteer even if the slots were all filled.  I had to say a reluctant "no" but with encouragement to sign up for the next dinner.  
In January, Vivian C. signed up for shopping.  She had not previously shopped for the Shelter dinner and had lots of questions.  Our e-mails back and forth burned up the atmosphere for awhil…

Until that Day: Remarks at the Berkeley City Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast 2016

Until that Day: Remarks at the Berkeley City Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast 2016 © Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Dearest God,
We are here as a city united for a moment. This beautiful morning is a brief episode of togetherness inspired by your servant, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We thank you for the food before us and the fellowship surrounding us.
But we know You know, God, that the Beloved Community Dr. King called us to build is hardly here. Those who labored to bring us together deserve our praise, and we offer them at least that. But we know, we know, God… We are barely at the foot of that mountain.
We know this because the clinking silverware bringing abundant food to our mouths is only for those who can pay to come. We know this because this lovely room we share for this sacred occasion has locks on the door.
More than that, God, more than that.
We know this morning isn’t enough because citizens of Flint, Michigan have poison water in their very homes and Americans have the poi…

Rabbi Gary S. Creditor: "Then Tell Me You Don’t Want to Check Who is Buying the Gun"

"Then Tell Me You Don’t Want to Check  Who is Buying the Gun" Reflections Upon Attending  the CNN #GunViolence Town Hall Meeting  with President Obama January 7th, 2016 Rabbi Gary S. Creditor Richmond, Virginia

December 22, 2011 was a day that changed my life forever. That day I buried a woman who was shot to death by a handgun while on her way to work as a nurse at a hospital after she had visited the grave of her son who had also been shot to death by a handgun. Neither murder has ever been solved. I had always paid at least “lip-service” to the issue of handgun violence. I signed the petitions. I made sermons reflecting on my experience of the deaths of JFK, RFK and MLK. I remember growing up with cap pistols and an air rifle. We would play and say “bang, bank your dead” and have absolutely no idea of what we had just said. We didn’t know the reality of death.  That day changed everything.
I can honestly say that I am scared of guns. I never served in the military, due to the lott…

Shabbat Dinner at CNS THIS FRIDAY NIGHT with Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block!

Quick Links CNS Homepage CNS Calendar Support CNS! Get involved! Rabbi Creditor's Blog Coming Up at CNS in January! Click for more info! RSVP for an amazing Shabbat Dinner at CNS  THIS FRIDAY NIGHT  with Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block! Join Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block as a Scholar-in-Residence for a unique Netivot Shalom Shabbat focused on domestic social justice. (