"...I had called Andrea to talk about the complicated role anger is playing in national conversations this summer. Passions are running high. Passion is not something that scares me, but anger does. It seemed to me that when we often use anger as an excuse not to consider another point of view. So I asked her about it...."
"...While of course I think it's fine to post joyful moments on Facebook, it's important to recognize these can be hard for friends who are experiencing loss or sadness. Having many friends who have faced fertility struggles, I understand how hard it can be for them to see photos of ultrasounds and newborns on Facebook. Mother's Day and Father's Day posts can be especially challenging for people for all sorts of reasons.
"I've had a leather bag full of fear, hanging by a strap over my left shoulder for many years. I've been collecting fear in that bag since early childhood and it's only gotten heavier and more cumbersome. It's no wonder I've got a touch of tendinitis.
"Or Shalom, Vancouver's East-Side Shul, the synagogue I serve as spiritual leader, is a community of 200 households that has raised funds and the volunteer enthusiasm to sponsor four refugee families, including eight children. Three Kurdish Syrian families remain in harms way in Turkey and Northern Iraq, but one family, an LGBT couple from Iraq, has finally, finally arrived after a long journey from Beirut to Cairo to Toronto to Vancouver...."
"...We seem to be living in a moment that is particularly fraught. Within the Jewish community, leaders who have steered the Jewish community for decades are currently engaged in the game of declaring who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out.’ They have done so without speaking to the generations rising up behind them who have a different relationship with and greater access to information about Israel. They have done so, without speaking to them and understanding their relationships with non-Jews.
Rabbis Without Borders Fellow Sandra Lawson has been chosen as one of the JTA's "10 Jews You Should Follow on Snapchat". Sandra, a rabbinical student, spends much of her time explaining weekly Torah portions and demystifying Judaism, as well as encouraging followers to snap her with questions about religious practice.
"...[Rabbi] Sirbu said she once taught a class called “Death, Dine and the Afterlife”* in a Panera restaurant in West Orange, N.J. She said the class was so popular that about 20 non-Jews joined those who were already attending. She said other rabbis are also doing more pop-up Shabbat services and dinners aimed at Jews of all ages....
"...As Jews who believe deeply in pluralism and tolerance, we cannot stand idly by while fellow Jews are assaulted and treated as deviants unfit for Jewish ritual experience. If there is anywhere on earth where all Jews, no matter their background or level of observance, should be able to pray as they see fit, it is at the Kotel.
"...We're a family of educators. Through our work, we provide access to educational services, social networks, and empowering ideologies for marginalized groups. We raise awareness about discrimination in hiring, social services and health care allocations. We spread an inclusive social vision.
And yet. Most days we feel we make little difference. Because we're part of a system that keeps generating inequality...."
"...At a time when it is easy to be discouraged by the violence and divisiveness in our country, I became filled with hope listening to these kids. They not only understand the connections between the age-old Jewish wisdom of our texts and values, but they feel it in their core. Camp empowers our children to be themselves and to celebrate who they are. The sound of that hate-filled voice became drowned out by these kids finding their own voices and claiming their faith for themselves...."