Union for Reform Judaism Member Congregation

Archive

The Distance Between Us, The Difference Between Us Melts Away: MLK Shabbat and Building the Beloved Community

She looked down at her nursing baby and put her hand on the baby’s soft cheek. Her movements were so gentle, but her eyes were full of agony. I have shared in this circle on several Shabbats my experiences traveling to the southern border of our country to witness the situation for asylum seekers in…Read on →

The Story of Chanukah: An Ancient and Yet Unfolding Miracle

This week, a parent shared with me that her son asked her if it’s safe to tell his classmates that he’s Jewish. This week, we mourned the loss of Jewish and non-Jewish innocent people who were killed in a targeted Anti-Semitic attack in New Jersey. This week, Nessah Synagogue, a Persian congregation in Beverly Hills…Read on →

Who Are Your “Esaus” and Is It Time To Let Them Be Free?

Quick pop quiz: In Jewish tradition, who is the good guy and who is the bad guy? David and Goliath—who’s the bad guy? Pharaoh and Moses—who’s the bad guy? Moses and Korach? Who’s the bad guy? Amalek and the Israelite stragglers? And from this week’s Torah portion—Jacob or Esau? Who’s the bad guy? Now, for…Read on →

Falling Off Camels and the Art of Feeling What We’re Feeling

I was recently talking with a particular teenager and she was animatedly telling me a story. Her voice was loud, she was practically out of her skin telling me about something that happened to her at school. She started crying, and then out of nowhere, as if someone had thrown a switch, she got totally…Read on →

Living in the Time of Sodom: Stories From the Border

What is the sin of Sodom? That’s a question that has fascinated commentators for generations. And it stems from this week’s Torah portion, parshat Vayera. God tells Abraham that the sin of Sodom is so great that God has to destroy it. In response, Abraham bargains and begs God for their lives, asking for mercy…Read on →

Lech L’cha: The Story of a Border Crossing People

As many of you know, I spent this past week at the southern border of our country, in El Paso on the US side, and in Juarez on the Mexican side. I was honored to join a group of Jewish clergy which was led by HIAS, who we heard from here on Yom Kippur. And…Read on →

In Memory of the Lives Lost at Tree of Life Synagogue: Connected by our Roots

There is something quite magical about trees. We read in the book of Deuteronomy about a tree who is standing in the field when a conquering army comes to take the city in which it grows. And we are instructed not to cut down that tree because, Torah asks rhetorically, “is a tree of the…Read on →

Erev Sukkot 5780: “Be Joyful, People!”: Training for the Sukkot Season

As you know, because I am totally obsessed with her, we’ve got a 2.5 year old. A few months ago, she started telling us that her room was too dark when she went to sleep, so we decided to get her a nightlight. We got a little one for the wall. It was simple and…Read on →

Yom Kippur 5780: On a Quest to Seek Out Life: The Mars Rover Curiosity and Me

Forecasts on August 6, 2012 called for favorable Martian weather over the landing zone. After a journey from Earth of more than 350 million miles and 8 months, engineers said they were hopeful the rover, the size of a small sports car, would land precisely as planned near the foot of a tall mountain rising…Read on →

Kol Nidre 5780: The Psalmist, the Prophet, the People

“Please stand up ma’am. I’m placing you under arrest.” I usually go by rabbi, but this was not the time. I stood up silently. It was not a surprise. It was what I was there to do. This past summer was also the first time I was arrested, and I could feel my heart pounding…Read on →