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Showing posts from March, 2014

Fwd: CNS Board Update - Adar II 5774 (Mar 2014) - Board Update

Looking to Get Involved and Connect with your community??

The door is always open! Want to connect and get involved with your Netivot Shalom community?Contact our AWE (Attract, Welcome & Engage) Committee Co-Chairs Claudia Valas, Norma Kaufman, & Miranda WeintraubThey can be reached by emailing Let's Celebrate!!! CNS 25th Anniversary Gala!!

Spring 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of our kehillah kedoshah - our sacred Netivot Shalom community! There will be a 25th Anniversary Gala celebration on Sunday, June 15th, 2014 at our home on University Avenue. Please save the date.Kol tuv, Carol CunradiMary BreinerCarole Baden25th Anniversary Gala Committee Co-Chairs Meeting Minutes! Board Meeting Minutes can be found here:  December 2013 January 2014 Celebrating a Simcha?

Congregation Netivot Shalom Preschool in Berkeley is seeking Experienced Preschool Teachers!

Congregation Netivot Shalom Preschool in Berkeley is seeking Experienced Preschool Teachers!
Teacher – 8:30am-1:30pm      - Detailed teacher job description here. "Floater" and Afternoon Teacher – 11am-6pm (flexibility in hours, based on applicants)

Job begins August 25, 2014 with possible summer hours.
Our warm, family-friendly school is looking for experienced preschool teachers with at least 12 units in ECE.  Our two-classroom school serving 30 children is in need of individuals who are familiar with emergent, project-based curriculum. This teacher will work with other preschool staff to create a play-based environment that weaves Jewish content and Hebrew language throughout the daily program for children ages 2-5. Hebrew speaker a plus.  Salary commensurate with education and experience.
Benefits include health and disability insurances, paid personal/sick and vacation days, as well as federal and Jewish holidays. Please send  cover letters and resumes to Lauren Kindorf, CNS Pre…

The Ravages of Redistribution

The Ravages of Redistribution
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Someone I know just used the phrase "a penchant for redistribution" to attack a politician whose promise to support vulnerable constituents requires serious (and as-of-yet undelivered) funding. My response, as politely as I can muster:
Redistribution of wealth is an idea based in a language of communal obligation, much closer to biblical notions of society than the savagery of unchecked individual rights. "Redistribution" is another word, a loaded political term, for taxation. A responsible member of society  can and should give of their wealth to support the whole. Religion done right teaches that financial success ought to be accompanied by commensurate gratitude, and redistribution should be understood therefore as a sacred, noble obligation. And, speaking from a place of simple recognition of reality, what I have is, at best, temporary. I will likely need the support of my sister one day, and the only way…

A Prayer for a Just Society, Soon and in Our Days

A Prayer for a Just Society, Soon and in Our Days
(c) Rabbi Menachem CreditorOffered March 25, 2014 in the US Capitol Building in collaboration with the holy work of JubileeUSA and FactCoalitionDear God,We ask for Your help tonight. Help us remember to see Your Image reflected in the faces of every human being. Inspire the work of our leaders to love You by loving each other, to honor You by honoring those most vulnerable in our world.We are united tonight, acknowledging that every voice on every side of every issue is obligated as one to start the work of ending our systemic empowerment of abusive, faceless corporations, to continue the work of healing our nation from pervasive economic inequality, and to do everything in our power to eradicate  interpersonal indignity, wherever it continues to exist within our legal tradition.Please, Eternal One, imbue our halls of law and our halls of justice with righteous egalitarianism, with equal justice and protection, with compassion that ove…

Courage in the Face of Gun Violence

Courage in the Face of Gun Violence
(c) Rabbi Menachem CreditorOur courage is most manifest in the endurance of our prophetic voices. We're in this for the long haul, called to shout, post, preach, and act until this destruction is cured. The NRA is built to last. But their mission is young compared with the Prophets'.

After Birkat HaMazon Learning this Week: Wealth, Wisdom, & Leadership

After Birkat HaMazon Learning this Week: Wealth, Wisdom, & Leadershipwith Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Congregation Netivot Shalom Shabbat Shemini/Parah (March 22), approx. 1:15pm

Come explore a Talmudic text dealing with the qualifications for leadership! Does wealth matter? Pedigree? How 'in-touch' should we expect leaders to be with the 'real lives' of their constituents? What happens when a failed leader learns? Is there room for growth and forgiveness in politics?
Rabbi Menachem Creditor ▶

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A short note of gratitude re: the Dershowitz letter/saga

A Short Note of Gratitude re: the Dershowitz letter/saga
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

To the many people I know (and many I do not) who have reached out in support, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Given the fast-paced and rhetoric-laced tenor of so many Israel-related conversations, it can become hard to know if anything helps. But here's what I believe: it's better than most people think. I'm currently working on a longish HuffPo piece sharing my reflections post-AIPAC, and while I'm not interested in engaging with the Dershowitz experience, it has also provided a beautiful context for what is already happening. As one friend, Hillary Chorny, put it: "When you speak out of love for Israel, [it] isn't left or right: it's straight-up holy." I believe that the emerging conversation is a holy one, that Zionism is bigger than politics, and that the Jewish capacity for debate is only growing.

To those who disagree, I can only say this: We spend too much time …

$11.6 Million Raised by Ramah Camping Movement

National Ramah Commission, Inc. of The Jewish Theological Seminary $11.6 MILLION RAISED BY RAMAH CAMPING MOVEMENT Huge Growth in New Investment from Donors and Foundations in 2013-14 for Camps, Israel Programs, and Movement-Wide Initiatives
Now serving over 10,000 children, teens, and young adults each summer
Reshet Ramah alumni network extends the camp experience into adulthood
View article in eJewishPhilanthropy
The National Ramah Commission has received foundation grants and donor pledges of $3.8 million in the last twelve months, while individual Ramah camps and Israel programs have raised $7.8 million for scholarships, endowments, capital development, and program innovation.
National Ramah 2013-14 initiatives that have been strengthened by foundation and philanthropic support include:
Ramah Service Corps - Twenty-eight young adult Ramah staff leaders bring the magic of camp into congregational and community life year-round through part-time and full-time initiatives across North America. T…

A Follow Up to “An Open Letter to Alan Dershowitz”

A Follow Up to “An Open Letter to Alan Dershowitz” © Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Yesterday, I shared on my blog an open letter to Professor Alan Dershowitz, after hearing from a friend that he had heard Dershowitz publicly refer to me as a “leftist pacifist.”  I reacted by articulating the nobility of the leftist, pacifist Zionism that I espouse. I accused Dershowitz of conflating my social progressive voice with an attack on Israel and of wielding Jewish ideals like weapons.
To my surprise, Professor Dershowitz emailed me in response to my letter, denying mentioning me, and accusing me of defamation. While I know that what I wrote was a defense of my own character and not defamation, his denial that he did not say what was reported is much appreciated.

I have deleted the blog entry of the original letter, and I appreciate his clarification.

Get your Afikomen-stuffers early! (a Pre-Pesach book sale!)

Get your Afikomen-stuffers early!
A Pesach Rhyme
by Rabbi Menachem Creditor

This delightful children's book about Passover is a rhyming kids' companion for the seder! Illustrations by children accompany a text that explains while it entertains!

  Learn more  
Other Titles by Rabbi Creditor:
Siddur Tov leHodot-- A Transliterated Shabbat Morning Siddur: This is the first edition of an ongoing transliteration project designed to support those making their ways into Jewish Prayer. A Yom Kippur Story -- The drama of the High Priest on Yom Kippur unfolds in this rhyming riff from the High Priest's perspective, pointing to the powerful difference one person can make! Feelings: Poems -- This second collection of poetry reflects one teacher's theology of the everyday. "Fierce Feelings" is a lyrical invitation to share …

Rejected Shul Slogans - Purim 2014

Rejected Shul Slogans - Purim 2014Compiled by Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Rejected Shul Slogans
1.       "This is the shul of affliction." – (Alex Weinberg)2.        "I upped my donation. Up yours." – (Rabbi Charles Arian)3.       "Eat, Pray, Argue." (Rabbi Gail Labovitz)4.       NOT the shul you wouldn't be caught dead in.. (Rabbi Gail Labovitz)5.       "Moses Died for Your Sins… Too soon?" (Rabbi Matt Rosenberg)6.       "Cheapest Dues in Town and A Rabbi That Shows It!" (Rabbi Neal Joseph Loevinger)7.       "Join us for Yom Kippur... We serve ham and cheese sandwiches." (Rabbi Noam Raucher)8.       "We practice relational Judaism so much even Jesus loves us!"(Rabbi Noam Raucher)9.       "We put the "ish" in Heimish!" (Rabbi Jason Miller)10.   "Temple Beth Mavet: We. Are. Kaddish." (Rabbi David Wise)11.   "Our self-righteousness is your problem." (Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder)1…

AJWS Presents The Greatest Silence: Exciting Guest Speaker Addition!

Exciting announcement: we are thrilled to announce the addition of special guests Nyota Babunga, AJWS Grantee Partner, and Leonie Wangibirwa, Congolese Sexual Assault Counselor!

Rabbi Gary Creditor: "A Sermon on Handgun Control and Violence and the Megillah"

Would You Let Your Children Read the Megillah of Esther? Shabbat Dedicated to Reflecting on Handgun Violence Rabbi Gary S. Creditor March 14th, 2014

I wonder: if we really stopped to read the Megillah of Esther carefully and critically,                 If we paid attention to Haman's designs upon the Jews,                 If we analyzed the details of the Jewish self-defense, Would we let children read this book? Would we merrily dance around in costumes? Would we make this holiday such happy holiday?
You all know that I will be dressed up in costume tomorrow night and we will be as raucous as possible. At the Purim dinner we will sing some traditional yet silly songs.  This is our normal modes operendai for Purim.
But perhaps it is the reflection that age allows, or because of issues about our society today, as I have been reading and rereading the Megillah that I hear episode after episode of extreme violence. It is a loud subtext of the Megillah. There is violence towards bodies, violence…