Do not remain indifferent

It is not enough to simply say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ though it is an important first step. We must transform our world so that black lives do matter, in every corner of society. This transformation happens not in the streets, but within each of us, as we explore who we are and who we want to be, by examining how our society functions and how it could function. Jews know this transformation – we do it every year on Yom Kippur when we engage in chesbon hanefsh – when we examine our actions from the past year in order to be better in the next.

In spite of It All, I still Believe in Hope

Hope is an essential Jewish value that allows us embrace the possibility of a brighter future. We must always hold on to hope – hope in ourselves, hope in our community, hope in our country, and hope that one day our children will only know shalom, wholeness and peace.

The Power of Fire

We strike the match to the matchbook and from nothing a flame emerges and dances before us. Just like God we create – light appears where once there was none. We marvel at our creation as it quickly creeps toward our fingers – and then light not one but two wicks. Zachor v’shamor – remember…

Showing Love by Standing with Our Neighbors

The best thing we can do in the fight for racial justice is to show up, be present, and stand with our black and brown brothers and sisters. This is how we show love and create a stronger community

Finding Hope in a Broken World

Hayom Harat Olam – Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world. Today marks just over three months since Jenny and I welcomed Aiden into our lives. My dearest Aiden, There is a tree across the street from our synagogue that takes away my breath every time I see it in the Spring and Fall….

Testing Our Love of the Stranger

As we just read in our Torah, God called out to Abraham: “Abraham, Abraham,” “Hineini,” Abraham replied, “Here I am.” “Abraham, take your son, your only son, the son whom you love, Isaac, and take him up to a mountain, and there I want you to sacrifice him as an offering to me.”  Aside from…

Loving as a Community in Times of Grief

This past Shabbat I was feeling sense of elation as I started to walk out of the Sanctuary with our Bar Mitzvah, Dylan. I told him how proud I was of him and he beamed with pride. His friends ran into hug him and tell him that he did awesome. As the community entered the…

We Will Not Remain Silent

Dear Friends, This morning I emerged from our sanctuary filled with joy and hope after celebrating another wonderful student becoming a bar mitzvah. During his d’var Torah, our student taught us the important lesson from Abraham that we should be kind to others, both our neighbor and the stranger. My elation was quickly diminished as…

A Message of Hope for Israel’s Future

­­I was not born into a Zionist home. When Israel became a country in 1948 m­y grandparents in Cleveland left the Synagogue where Zionist Abba Hillel Silver was the rabbi and went to a new synagogue because they worried that if the Jews had a home, America would expel them much like the Germans. When…

Shana Tova, My Little One

To my little one,

If I’m reading this on the bima, it means that you have not yet arrived in this world. You are still safe and sound and everything you need is provided for you….