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Showing posts from March, 2013

Support an Interfaith Gun Violence Vigil!


I'm heading to DC on April 11 for an interfaith Gun Violence Vigil, marking all the GV Deaths since Sandy Hook. I (gladly) broke the Discretionary Fund bank on airfare. You're invited to support the trip by sending a gift to "Netivot Shalom Rabbi's Discretionary Fund // 1316 University Ave // Berkeley, CA // 94702" 


Jewish Genetic Disorders Shabbat is April 12-13 (Tazria/Metzora)


Jewish Genetic Disorders Shabbat is April 12-13 (Tazria/Metzora) -- proud of my colleague and friend Rabbi Aaron Melman for leading this effort. May our children benefit in health and safety with every good decision parents make in advance with support like this. 

For more info, watch the video and also visit

JTA: "For some Israelis, a stay at Jewish camp opens eyes to religious pluralism"

JTA: "For some Israelis, a stay at Jewish camp opens eyes to religious pluralism"By Ben Sales · March 6, 2013
Photos1 out of 1Other MediaIsraeli emissaries and campers at Camp Tamarack in Michigan in 2009. (Jewish Agency for Israel. ) SUMMER CAMPSTEL AVIV (JTA) -- After serving three years of mandatory army service, Guy Eisenberg felt like many Israeli military veterans: He wanted to get away and have some fun.Thailand or India would have been a natural choice. The countries are something of a rite of passage for Israelis seeking to blow off post-army steam.But instead of going east, Eisenberg went west and became a swim counselor at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. He would return for six more summers to his wooded getaway, where he made lasting connections and discovered something even more fascinating than fun and new friends: ConservativeJudaism."I had no i…

A Few Resources for Exploring the Notion of "Unfolding Torah"

New Adult Class: "Deepening Your Jewish Experience"

"Deepening Your Jewish Experience:  Shabbat, Food, and Prayer" with Rabbi Menachem Creditor Congregation Netivot Shalom Wednesdays, April 17 - May 1 -- 7:30 pm at Congregation Netivot Shalom - sponsored by Lehrhaus Judaica
Register ($20 for nonmembers; free to Netivot Shalom members.)
Do you bless your food with gratitude that a stooped worker picked it for you? Do you breathe in the rest of the Sabbath with ecstatic peace? Or, do you just wish you could? Join this conversation and explore how you can deepen your personal Jewish practice. We will explore three key areas: Shabbat, food, and prayer. Come exactly as you are and honestly determine what you would like MORE of in your life. Each person will be on their own journey but will share their questions and challenges.

"Lean to the Left" or "Unshackled"

"Lean to the Left" or "Unshackled"
(C) Rabbi Menachem CreditorAsk all your questions,
but beware of calming answers.Tomato and parsley,
orange and horseradish,
chocolate and shankbone.
Never just one,
never has been.Lean to the left,
on an armless chair.
Feel the void
beneath your freedom.If you resolve to open your door
and be the Messiah this year,
next year there will be less need.--------
Rabbi Menachem Creditor ||

National Day to Demand Action is March 28th #60votes @piconetwork @rabbiassembly #nowisthetime @whitehouse #VPOTUS

Dear Rabbi Menachem,

My name is Stephen Barton, and I'm a survivor of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. I want to tell you about something important that happened last night.

After months of debate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced a comprehensive gun reform bill and made it clear that any bill that seeks to address gun violence must require background checks for all gun sales in America.1

This is a big moment, but it begs an even bigger question: Do we have 60 votes to pass gun reform in the Senate?

Sadly, right now, the answer is no. And that's where you and I come in.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns is organizing a National Day to Demand Action on March 28th. Senators will be at home for the Easter/Passover recess, and they need to hear from us. We need to attend events, make calls, and come together to make sure our elected officials don't give in to pressure from the NRA.

Will you commit to calling your Senators on March 28th to support backg…

JCCPA: A package of new gun violence laws are making their way to the Senate floor. We're at a critical point!

We are making progress: a package of new gun laws are making their way to the Senate floor. At this critical point, we need your help to urge Senators to support a comprehensive approach to ending gun violence!

As we know, no one measure will solve our country's gun violence problem. A comprehensive approach must include provisions to stop gun trafficking, require universal background checks, increase access to high-quality mental health services, ensure school safety, and a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Each of these is important to the comprehensive approach we have called for, but already one of these pieces – the assault weapons ban – is facing serious challenges.  Senator Feinstein plans to offer her assault weapons ban as amendment to the larger gun violence legislative package that is scheduled to be considered by the full Senate next month. This is an extra hurdle that will make the ban less likely to pass and weaken our comprehensive approach. Still…

Fast of the Firstborn (Ta'anit Bechorot)

Fast of the Firstborn (Ta'anit Bechorot)
Minyan Monday Morning 7:15 am in the CNS Library, followed by a siyyum (completion of learning) with Rabbi Dorothy Richman! to learn more about the Fast of the Firstborn, click here

Click here for the  "Modern Slavery Seder Supplement" created by CNS Members Leslie Gordon, Joel Siegel, Mark Priven, and Robin Braverman. Congregation Netivot Shalom || 1316 University Ave. || Berkeley, CA 94702 || || @cnsberkeley "congressional Democrats, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid, are on the verge of caving on the three most critical gun violence prevention proposals"

This is the nightmare scenario:
"Reid guts Senate gun control bill."1 "Tuesday's developments are a major win for the powerful National Rifle Association."2 "[Assault weapons] ban's chances of survival now are all but hopeless."3 "[A]nother major element of the president's gun policy proposal could be joining the assault weapons ban in the scrap heap."4 After months of promises that, in the wake of Newtown, this time would be different, congressional Democrats, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid, are on the verge of caving on the three most critical gun violence prevention proposals: universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons, and a ban on high-capacity magazines. What's looking most likely to end up in the final bill? A provision encouraging guns in schools.No, no, no. MoveOn members and our allies have done so much to make real reform possible—with tens of thousands of phone calls, events, lobby visits, lett…

JCPA: Senate Prepares for Gun Violence Vote

Plenum Recap Vote on GunsBuenos Aires
Plenum Recap  Senator Elizabeth Warren in conversation with members of the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council during the JCPA Plenum The annual JCPA Plenum wrapped up last week with representatives from the JCPA's 125 Jewish community relations councils and 15 national member agencies meeting with Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill to discuss guns, the budget, Iran, and immigration reform. The meetings in Congressional offices and at the JCPA reception came at the conclusion of a three-day symposium where Jewish community leaders met with national experts and policy makers to discuss these issues and other Jewish community priorities.

In addition to the Members of Congress on Tuesday, the JCPA Plenum heard from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano – with a special video introduction by Vice President Joe Biden – on the need for immigration reform and the …

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Rally - this Thursday at 4:30pm!

When: Thursday, March 21 at 4:30PM
Where: Harlem State Office Building 
163 West 125th Street at
Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.( 7th Ave.), New York CityJoin New York Voices Against Gun Violence for a massive mobilization to focus attention on the human toll of the gun violence that is plaguing our nation, and stand up for common sense protections such as background checks on all gun sales and a ban on assault weapons. We will be promoting the NY SAFE ACT, which Governor Cuomo signed into law recently, as a model for legislation at the federal level and in other states. Together we can keep our children and our communities safe!Here is our press release.
Download a flyer for the event hereJoin us on FACEBOOKAbout New York Voices Against Gun ViolenceWe are a broad coalition of advocates, youth organizations, healthcare workers, unions, elected officials, faith leaders and artists who have come together to reduce gun violence.  Members of our coalition include: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense…

The NRA's list of "National Organizations, Individuals & Celebrities, Corporations, Publications and Media Outlets With Anti-Gun Policies"

Friends, what do we do with this list, generated by the NRA's "Institute for Legislative Action"? Obviously, it shows overwhelming support for sane Gun Violence laws. It also shows the NRA is scared AND very well-organized.... feel free to pass this whole message, the question, and suggestions along!
The NRA's list of "National Organizations, Individuals & Celebrities, Corporations, Publications and Media Outlets With Anti-Gun Policies"
The following organizations have lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to anti-gun organizations. In many instances, these organizations lent their name in support of specific campaigns to pass anti-gun legislation such as the March 1995 HCI "Campaign to Protect Sane Gun Laws." Many of these organizations were listed as "Campaign Partners," for having pledged to fight any efforts to repeal the Brady Act and the Clinton "assault weapons" …