"...We could all take a lesson. Rather than giving prizes to films and artists who contribute most to the industry's bottom line, or voting for storylines that spoke to Hollywood insiders the most, the Academy seems to want to do more. Beyond just the cool factor or the profit margin, those who nominate and select the Oscar winners often do so to celebrate the message of a film..."
"There's much about social media that degrades conversation and exacerbates polarization. But, like every technology, it also empowers us and offers opportunities to speak across boundaries and borders. Tim Byrd, a veteran of the war in Iraq who fought in Mosul, is a juvenile corrections officer in Washington state, a husband and a father of five. I met him on Facebook, where we connected after he heard my guest spot on Glenn Beck's show.
"A Brand New Curriculum developed by ConverJent and The Jewish Women’s Archive provides rich material to educators and families for use with the groundbreaking mobile GPS game for learning Jewish history..."
Rabbi Owen Gottlieb founded and directs ConverJent, incubated at Clal
The Kirtan Rabbi’s third album, Nondual, has been released. Sponsored by Clal and Romemu, the CD release party will take place on Saturday evening, February 28 at 8:00pm at Integral Yoga. Appearing with the Kirtan Rabbi is Shoshana Jedwab, Taylor Bergren-Chrisman, Emily Stern and the Posse, a full-on rocking band, featuring BIBI MCGILL, Beyoncé's lead guitar player.
It was difficult for Rabbi Andrew Hahn to accept that a traditional rabbinical path was not his calling. Then he discovered Krishna Das’s music. A harmonium purchase came next, and he began composing music based on Hebrew melodies using the call and response structure of kirtan.
"...We all need hope. And the more hopeless things seem, the more we need the encouragement of others. By offering both, Moore did what so many award-winners attempt to do in their acceptance speeches - to make a difference. It worked where many others have failed, because he shared a piece of his experience. He humanized what's so often theorized, and in doing so, spoke to people across many divides that usually only help correctness get in the way of compassion..."
"...Janet R. Kirchheimer feels a personal responsibility to share Holocaust stories with the next generation — not simply by telling people what happened, but by portraying the experience through the arts. Kirchheimer does it through poetry and film…. Kirchheimer’s 2013 film, “How I Knew and When,” is based on one of her poems. The short film stars Kirchheimer and her mother and provides poignant vignettes of their relatives’ experiences both during and immediately after the war...."
"...The Peace Ring was a symbolic act, to show that these Muslims and the many volunteers who participated with them are committed to protect their sisters and brothers who are Jews, and to do so in the name of Islam, the faith that inspires them and to which they devote themselves (organizers were reportedly inspired after a Copenhagen synagogue was attacked earlier this month)..."
"...“Israel right now is the third rail — they’re scared to touch it. They don’t want to alienate or inflame some portion of their congregation.” Rabbi [Rebecca] Sirbu said that the narrative about Israel that people believe has changed over the years. The older generation, who lived through the founding of Israel or the Six Day War, have a far different belief system than those who grew up in the 1990s.
"...Denominations bring scholarship, investment, organization and purpose. Klal Yisrael needs those benefits, and denominations continue to be vital vehicles for them. For those reasons, Jews outside denominationalism do wrong to glibly demonize denominations as inherently corrosive of Jewish spirituality. By the same token, denominations do wrong to diminish or disenfranchise Jews and Jewish leaders whose spiritual or community affiliations grow outside denominational structures. The Mishkan needs their diverse gifts no less.