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Showing posts from October, 2009

As One

As One© Rabbi Menachem Creditorin Memory of Rabbi Chanan Feld z"l
Have you ever seen a "flash mob?"(Youtube is full of them.)It is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform a coordinated action, and then disperse. For a brief, fleeting moment, they are one body in motion.I sat tonight in a packed room with others assembled to mourn the loss of Rabbi Chanan Feld, a dear teacher in our community in Berkeley.The gathering was a manifestation of Chanan's spiritual impact on so many different kinds of people.To my right was a fellow Conservative Rabbi, to my left was the chair of Judaic Studies at UCSF, to his left was a Renewal rabbi, to his left was a Chabad Rabbi.That one row comforted me, and gave me hope that through a life-practice of simple kindness (like Chanan's) we can be reminded that we're truly connected with one another, that we're family.Because there are legitimate things that divide us, that indicate a particular…

Fwd: thought this would be of interest

Temple Israel in Sharon: Remembering the Jewish Community of Crakow, PolandRemembered by Susan Creditor According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia, the first recorded presence of Jews residing in Cracow, Poland dates from the early 13th century. 55, 515 Cracow residents identified themselves as Jews in the Polish census of 1931; this was almost one quarter of the total population. In November, 1939, the Jewish population in Cracow had grown to about 70,000. The great increase was due to Jews who had fled from the countryside into the city and the arrival of Jews who were deported from the District Wartheland. (German-occupied Poland, which was directly annexed to the Greater German Reich).Bronia Schonberg, Susan Creditor's mother, resided in Podgorze, which was a suburb just south of Cracow and which, in 1941, would become the Jewish Ghetto. Before the war, Podgorze was a lovely town, filled with Jewish families who lived a comforta…

Fwd: Arrested: Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann, in Jerusalem

Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann of RHR arrested in Jerusalem

From Rabbi Nava Hefetz, writing from Jerusalem -- 28.10.09[This letter from Jerusalem has been posted on our Website. To comment, click to go to the end of the article and enter a comment there. --  AW]

He that walk uprightly, and work righteousnessÖ shall never be moved. Psalms, 15

Salah A-Din Street in East Jerusalem, 9 PM, the streets are deserted, here and there a few men gather. In the middle of the street two men are trying to extinguish burning boxes. The darkness that overshadows the Old City's walls contains the tension that will only break at dawn.

I enter the police station located at the corner of Suleiman the Magnificent and Salah A Din streets (din in Hebrew means justice). There, one will not encounter magnificence, and even justice did not manage to enter. The police building can glory in its neglect and the trash that surrounds it.

At the entrance, a young and bored polic…

Lech Lecha 5770/2009: “Ready”

Lech Lecha 5770/2009: "Ready" 
Rabbi Menachem Creditor  

Abraham's journey begins with separation.  The travels begin accompanying his father, and then continue alone.  God's command is deeply persona: Go.Go to yourself.  Leave whom you were behind, everything and everyone you've known.  We know this story, and yet return to it with wonder every year.  It opens us to a rebirth of identity, a celebration of self, a readiness to plunge into the unknown future with faith and with trust. 

But there is a somewhat hidden aspect of Abraham's (then 'Abram' ) journey.  He is never truly alone.  God's command to Abram as an individual is fulfilled in the company of his life-partner Sarah (then 'Sarai').  When the time comes for Abraham's name change (upon his circumcision) their names change together. 

My mother once described one life path joined with another.  That even when two people choose to join their paths, the paths never truly become one.…

from the Alban Institute: "Planning and the Budget"

Rabbi Gil Steinlauf: "Evolutionary Judaism"

Evolutionary Judaism
Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Rabbi at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC love Conservative Judaism.It is a great blessing to the Jewish world.I believe in its message and its wisdom.I know it has real limitations, yet it is poised to address the needs of the Jewish people in the 21stcentury.For decades, our movement has wisely embraced tradition while acknowledging the importance of change as generations go by.Most significantly, I appreciate Conservative Judaism's embrace of honesty, truth, and intellectual integrity.When we study texts of Torah, we don't suspend disbelief.We don't ask our adherents to check their critical thinking at the door.We invite our communities to apply their intellectual vigor and the breadth of their learning from many disciplines—Jewish and non-Jewish-- to discern the meaning and the context of our teachings.We are Halakhic:we uphold the binding quality of …

this sunday: a Healing Service at CNS

A HealingService
Congregation Netivot Shalom
with Rabbi Menachem Creditor and Gerri Levitas
Sunday, November 1, 2009 from 11:30am - 12:00 noon

Are you, or someone you love fighting an illness?  Are you caring for someone who is ill?  Have you lost a loved one?  Are you going through emotional difficulties?  Consider coming to the Netivot Shalom HealingService where you will be surrounded by warm and caring people who will understand what you are experiencing.  Healing Services are our effort to assist the needs of all people who are ill, dealing with grief or loss, or caring for an ill person. The function of a healingservice is to allow individuals to connect through prayer, song, poetry and communal sharing. While each person comes to the healingservice as an individual, there is a collective synergy that takes place; an ensuing collective healing occurs that is extraordinarily moving.  This provides a deep sense of support, solace and hope for all in attendance.  

Our healingservice wi…

JTA Op-Ed: Support for Israel comes in a multitude of voices

JTA Op-Ed: Support for Israel comes in a multitude of voices By Daniel Sokatch · October 15, 2009
(Daniel Sokatch, founding executive director of the Progressive Jewish Alliance, takes over as CEO of the New Israel Fund on Oct. 19.)
SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- The upcoming J Street conference will bring a thousand American and Israeli progressive thinkers and activists to Washington. Titled "Driving Change, Securing Peace," the conference comes at a critical moment because dramatic as it may sound, we are in a battle for the future and soul of Israel. And despite the concerns of some in our community, Israel is strong enough to withstand free and fair debate about its most significant issues. Indeed, it is only through such debate that these issues will be resolved.The J Street conference offers an opportunity to discuss the serious issues affecting Israe…

from "The Moan and the Shout: James Noel on African American Religious Experience"

from "The Moan and the Shout: James Noel on African American Religious Experience"

"Continuity," painted by James NoelListen to James Noel describe the African American Religious Experience Download audio file Listen to James Noel sing and recite poetry Download audio file Take a black sermon, print it in a book, then read it, and you have no idea what it means because it has been abstracted from the living worship of the black church, says the Rev. Dr. James Noel, (Ph.D. '99), Farlough Professor of African American Christianity at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. The sermon's meaning, he says, is determined by the hymns sung, the testimonials, the prayers said before and after the sermon's delivery, as well as what went on that week for parishioners.
"My fascination is with religious experience and its various modes of expression," he says, "especially Afri…

Keeping the Faith at the Anniversary of Prop 8

On the week of November 4th, the anniversary of the passage of Proposition 8, Californians are standing together, not looking back, but moving forward. People of faith and secular activists are coming together to Keep the Faith for Equality, highlighting the strength of the relationship between communities of faith and our Equality Movement. Together, will celebrate the progress that has been made in the past year, both in the secular and religious communities. We will renew our support for our friends in Maine and Washington State as they face ballot measures which would strip same-sex couples of relationship protections. Through interfaith prayer, song, and reflection, we are Keeping the Faith for Equality for all people.
To find a Keeping the Faith event in your area, visit Regions organizing events on November 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th include: BelmontClaremontLos AngelesModestoOaklandOrange CountyRiverside (Inland Empire)SacramentoSan …

A UN Watch Statement on the Goldstone Report

UN Watch Oral Statement
Delivered by Colonel Richard Kemp

UN Human Rights Council
12th Special Session, 16 October 2009
Debate on Goldstone Report

Thank you, Mr. President.

I am the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan. I served with NATO and the United Nations; commanded troops in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia; and participated in the Gulf War. I spent considerable time in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, and worked on international terrorism for the UK Government's Joint Intelligence Committee.

Mr. President, based on my knowledge and experience, I can say this: During Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defence Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.

Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately posi…

United Synagogue revised bylaws

From USCJ: United Synagogue revised bylaws
Dear Chevre:

This December at the United Synagogue convention, delegates will have an historic opportunity to bring about change. If you are a convention delegate, your vote to approve United Synagogue's revised bylaws will enable our organization to be governed more efficiently and better translate the needs of our constituent members into decisive leadership and better service.

At its September meeting, United Synagogue's board of directors overwhelmingly approved a revision of its 2005 bylaws and recommended that the revised 2009 bylaws be approved by the convention. By that vote, the board demonstrated that it was in favor of creating a new governance model that would insure more responsive decision making.

The 17 members of the bylaws revision committee are a diverse group, drawn from all over the continent and representing a broad range of interests. The committee devoted significant time and energy to making United Synagogue better…