"I love being a rabbi. I cannot imagine doing or being anything else. I am proud of my work for the past 18 years. I am also proud that my 18th year in the rabbinate marks a significant change, as I transitioned from working in established synagogues to becoming the founder and spiritual leader of Makom NY: a new model for Jewish community on Long Island.
My reflections on 18 years, with my new perspective...."
"...My interest in all this was reawakened as I watch the controversy stirred up by Donald Trump's response to Khizr Kahn's words, and Mrs. Kahn's presence, on the stage at the Democratic National Convention. People — again — are arguing whether this will be Trump's self-immolation.
"...Redefining manliness, as the ability to give love ever more freely doesn't render a man effete, it makes him powerful. Showing up with a warm and open heart demands strength, it demands that a man become more badass, and less baby. And with that demand comes the responsibility of bestowing that same strength to the ones he loves most...."
"...The fact that I am female continues to color how people view me as a rabbi and a leader. I have had to learn to work with this reality. Sixteen years into my rabbinate I am still working on it. There is no getting over ‘the female factor.’ I have been passed over for jobs because of it. I have been underestimated and misunderstood. I simply don't look like what a leader is ‘supposed’ to look like...."
"I am a tribalist – full stop. I admit it, I am proud of it, and I invite others to appreciate the wisdom of that approach even as tribalism often gets a bad rap in more “enlightened” circles. I will nuance what that means, and certainly appreciate that commitment to tribalism, like any commitment, however elevated or base it may be, can be taken to dangerous extremes.
Newly published The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate is a collection of essays that examine the ways in which women in the rabbinate have impacted all aspects of Jewish life, from Jewish feminism to congregational culture and beyond. Featuring a historic transcription of an interview with the first officially ordained woman rabbi, Rabbi Sally Priesand, The Sacred Calling explores the trajectory and impact of women’s leadership in Judaism over the past half century.
...."It isn’t that we haven’t known for millennia that women can harness political power, or be wise, or even because women can be just as spectacular schlemiels as men, but there is a taste of redemption in being able to walk into the tent and change the laws as part of the normal body of humanity, asserting our equality and ability, rather than asking someone else to do it for our benefit – and hoping that they’ll agree with us what is to our benefit.’"
...."A recent article in the Forward gave five reasons why Kaine would be the “Jewiest Vice Presidential Pick for Hillary Clinton.” The list includes bringing Sabra hummus to Virginia and his support of Israel. Though there is another reason, alluded to in the article, why Kaine’s views should be welcome to Jews that have nothing to do with Israel: Kaine’s personal and political biography indicates a support for religious liberty that the Jewish community should welcome....."
"What can I say of Elie Wiesel that has not already been said? And all of it is true. That he — peerlessly — got the world to pay attention and to grasp the enormity of the Holocaust, as well as the central importance of coming to grips with it for the sake of the future.
"...Clinton will continue to make use of relationship-building as a coalition-building and acceptance-garnering technique—and I have no doubt that, despite this, her leadership style will continue to be misunderstood. Perhaps—until one day, maybe it isn’t. This too is a chronic problem. “I lead a highly selective fellowship programs for rabbis called Rabbis Without Borders,” said Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu.