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Showing posts from February, 2011

A Tisch Podcast: "Radical Judaism: When Heresy Began"

Radical Judaism: When Heresy Began with Rabbi Menachem Creditor - February 27, 2011
One of Judaism's most precious aspects is our lack of dogma, a lack which defies fundamentalism and extremism.  But there have been those Jewish leaders through the course of history who have proposed faith-litmus-tests, statements of belief, as measures of Jewish authenticity and admission tests to join the Jewish People.  Join this conversation about Jewish identity, deeds, and belief, one which challenges the notions of "in" and "out" based on any issues of faith. audio file: Sheet: --- Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Congregation Netivot Shalom || Bay Area Masorti  ||  ShefaNetwork.orgRabbis for Women of the Wall|| To join Rabbi Creditor's email list, send a blank email to

NJ Jewish Standard: "Rabbi Ethan Tucker: Torah Belongs to Jews, not Denominations"

NJ Jewish Standard: "Rabbi Ethan Tucker: Torah Belongs to Jews, not Denominations"
Mechon Hadar founder seeks to integrate halacha and ethics

Jewschool: "The USCJ Strategic Plan" Part II: Critique of the strategic plan

Jewschool: "The USCJ Strategic Plan" Part II Critique of the strategic plan
by ImproveUSCJ, The first thing that jumps out of the USCJ strategic plan is a revolutionary change in membership focus. They are no longer an association of synagogues. They are now an association of "kehilot." There's even a whole paragraph about why this is so significant and how they plan to create a team to figure out how to rebrand USCJ with a new name to match this word change. This is part of the growing trend where transliterated Hebrew is considered more profound than English [insert random quote from Steven M. Cohen here]. Beyond the excitement that the Conservative movement has finally discovered transliteration, it is a welcome part of an effort to create ways for groups of Jews that don't call themselves synagogues to affiliate with USCJ. They even say they want USCJ to become "a nexus for serious, post-denominational Judaism." (Hello I…

A Special Arava Institute Evening in Berkeley with Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed

Can a car really produce its own energy?Join us on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 7:00 pm as Friends of the Arava Institute & Jewish National Fund present a special program featuring Dr. Tareq Abu HamedDirector of the Arava Institute's Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation.David Brower Center2150 Allston WayBerkeley, CA 94704Building on Israel's vision to create a "Silicon Valley" for Renewable Energy, the director of the southern region of Israel's leading research center in renewable energy is planning a visit to the San Francisco Bay Area.    The world-renowned research of Dr. Tareq Abu Hamed, Director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies' Center for RenewableEnergy and Energy Conservation, aims to reduce the world's reliance on fossil fuels for transportation.  He is perfecting a process that would enable vehicles, from cars to planes, to produce their own hydrogen energy on an as-needed basis, using an entirely-renewable syst…

Masorti Matters on JPost: "Rabbis: OK for president to rape"

[ed note: Rabbi Andy Sacks' conclusion is mine as well: "...the rabbis who signed the letter do not make me ashamed to be Jewish today. They make me shamed that they are part of the Jewish people." And so I ask, though I know this cuts both ways: how do we, as a Jewish People, call out this destructive voice from within the guise of rabbinic authenticity? -rmc]

Masorti Matters on JPost: "Rabbis: OK for president to rape" by Rabbi Andy Sacks, Director of the Masorti Movement's Rabbinical Assembly in Israel Feb 24, 2011  Remember the "Get Out of Jail Free" card in the game of Monopoly.  Well, it seems as though not a few prominent rabbis in Israel are trying to play that card right now.

Israel's former president, Moshe Katsav, has been convicted of rape. Not one count but two.  He was further convicted of indecent assault, sexual harassment, and obstruction of justice. There appear to …

Jewschool: "The USCJ Strategic Plan" Part I: USCJ as it is

Jewschool: "The USCJ Strategic Plan" Part I: USCJ as it is by guestpost [] · Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 will be the first in a series of three posts on the USCJ strategic plan from guestposter "ImproveUSCJ.".The USCJ Strategic Plan Part 1: USCJ as it isI'm a parent in my early 30's. I grew up in a Conservative synagogue and I've been a dues paying member of Conservative synagogues since my early 20's. I've davened with at least 8 independent minyanim. I have never been paid for work in the Jewish community. I spent a couple of years on the board of directors of one synagogue where I had many opportunities to observe the competencies of USCJ. I think the Conservative movement would benefit greatly from an organization that connects our communities to resources that help them improve. It would be great if USCJ could be that organization. I figure it's worth a bit of my tim…