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Showing posts from August, 2013

My article in J. Weekly: "What’s so high about the High Holy Days?"

What's so high about the High Holy Days? Thursday, August 29, 2013 | by Rabbi Menachem Creditor
It's true. Shul leaders work hard during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. And so this piece might come across as one stressed-out rabbi's plea for sanity. But I really do think we all have to calm down about the High Holidays. Honestly, I have no idea what makes them so "high."

Yes, the world is reborn on Rosh Hashanah and each of us is forgiven on Yom Kippur. The meanings of these holidays are profound, but there is so much missing if these days are our considered our "highest."

A full Jewish life is impossible when it is limited to the universalism of Rosh Hashanah and the forgiving power of Yom Kippur. We'd certainly be much less without them, but we're fractions of our Jewish selves if they're all we've got.

Before I go on, let me be clear about the possibilities of R…

New CNS Adult Class: "Shacharit in 3 Acts or Who's Talking to Whom?" with Rabbi Stuart Kelman

A New Adult Education Class at Netivot Shalom! Stay Connected to Netivot Shalom online!

"When I pray, I talk to God; when I study Torah, God talks to me."  - Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel z"l"Shacharit in 3 Acts" or "Who's Talking to Whom?"with Rabbi Stuart KelmanFounding Rabbi of Netivot Shalom and an Editor of Machzor Lev ShalemIs prayer a natural art or is it an acquired skill?  Come discover why the rabbis of old created and fashioned a set of experiences and words as a response to that question. In each of the three sessions, which can be taken independently, we'll delve deeper into the words and just what it is that they are supposed to do when we say them.  It would be lovely if you have good Hebrew skills, but they are not necessary for these sessions.  And if you have your ownsiddurthat you like to use, bring it along! WHERE: Congregation Netivot ShalomWHEN: Mondays 7:30 to 9pmNov.  4:  Sh'ma and its Blessings: Connecting Nov. 11:  The …

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld in JPost: "Leveling the playing field of religious struggle"

August 28, 2013 Wednesday 22 Elul 5773 11:08 IST Select Language​▼ Photo by: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post Leveling the playing field of religious struggleBy RABBI JULIE SCHONFELD
27/08/2013Should the Israeli people decide to separate synagogue and state, we would likely support that position, but until then, the playing field of ideas must be made level.These have been a few puzzling days as a large platform now referred to as "Ezrat Yisrael" appeared with short notice and some confusion at Robinson's Arch, the area at the southern end of Jerusalem's Western Wall.

As we all await a clearer picture of the policies and plans the Israeli government intends to oversee regarding this space, it behooves us to review how Robinson's Arch came to be a venue for egalitarian, pluralistic customs.

For more than two decades, two equally brave and righteous religious struggles have taken place in the shadow of growing extremist Orthodox control of the Kotel: Women of the…

Shana Tova! All your latest news from MasortiUK

Noam Summer Camp 2013 a massive success!With over 200 young people involved in 5 camps in both Wales and France, Noamnikim enjoyed a summer full of creativity, engaging education and a chance to meet new friends for life.Camp is a chance to push boundaries and create experiences that will last for a lifetime. The success of the camps was down to our phenomenal Madrichim and Roshim who ensured that everyone involved felt part of another amazing Noam Summer."Summer 2013 was a truly rewarding experience for all of us involved in making it happen. The Noamnikim enjoyed themselves and had a great time both doing fun activities and engaging in some meaningful educational events too! Bring on the next Camp!", says Sam Schryer, Mazkir, Noam.This year, we are celebrating 25 years of Noam and we all hope that the magical memories of Camp can be replicated for many years to come.Thanks to everyone who attended! Kelim class of 2013 Kelim 2013 - a never to be forgotten experience! T…

Youth Programming at Netivot Shalom!

Youth Programming at Netivot Shalom! Ketzev: the Netivot Shalom Youth Chavurah! (visit our blog!) ------------------------ Ketzev Staff (click here for bios and more info!) Judy Massarano, Educator
Ziva Trau, Hebrew Specialist Abby Streusand, Educator
Welcome to a New Year of Youth  Programming at Netivot Shalom! Please read below, and please also be in  touch with me any time! 

"Thanksgiving Torah: Jewish Reflections on an American Holiday" - call for submissions

"Thanksgiving Torah: Jewish Reflections on an American Holiday" - call for submissions!

The forthcoming book entitled: "Thanksgiving Torah: Jewish Reflections on an American Holiday", edited by Rabbi Menachem Creditor, explores the intersection between Jewish heritage and American values. Thanksgiving Torahdeals with themes of: how we tell our stories, how ritual brings people together, how a Jew celebrates as part of a greater society, how Jewish citizens are called to civic engagement, how heritage can endure even when a narrative changes over time, and much more. There are several "Jewish Thanksgiving Prayers", and a children's story. (more submissions along these lines are welcome as well.)
Please note; This project will not generate any income for the editor or the contributors. All proceeds from this book benefit the "Reverse Hunger" campaign of American Jewish World Service (you can learn more here: 

A Guide to Judaism: A Class for All Considering Conversion

A Guide to Judaism: A Class for All Considering Conversion with Rabbi Menachem Creditor Teaching assistants:Kate Smallenburg Burch, April Oldenburg, Jacob Richards, Justin Garland, Caroline Taymor
Wednesday Nights, 7:30pm-9pm 2013: Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 -- Nov. 6, 13, 20 -- Dec. 4, 11, 18 2014: Jan. 8, 15, 22 -- Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26 -- March 5, 12, 19, 26
Class fee (for all 22 sessions): $360 (no one turned away for lack of funds)
Space is limited. Please contact Rachel at for more info and to register! Congregation Netivot Shalom –