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….

Finding Comfort in Unexpected Places: A Passover Yizkor Sermon

There was once a boy named Paul who was quite young, his family had one of the first telephones in his neighborhood, a polished, old case, fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. He was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when…

Lighting the Light Within

One of the most iconic movie scenes in my memory is when Darth Vader removes his helmet at the end of Return of the Jedi. Behind the black hardened exterior we witness a disfigured and defeated man who struggles to breathe. Having removed his mask, he seems compassionate and sad at his imminent death, and…

A Jewish Perspective of Racial Justice

Rabbi Immerman delivered this sermon at Temple Emanuel in Denver, CO on Rosh Hashanah morning 5777 Four hours. For four hours we let Michael Brown’s body lay in the hot sun on a St. Louis street in 2014. When I started reading the news that night, the next day, weeks and months afterward, and still…

Reflecting Holiness

When was the last time that you looked in a mirror? What were you doing and why were you doing it? I’ve looked in several mirrors today in which I saw my own reflection: the mirror in my bathroom at home while I brushed my teeth. The full length mirror in our den while getting…

Choosing the Moral Path

Last Thursday I was meeting with several community rabbis and a scholar as part of an AIPAC event, and after several depressing conversations about the Middle East, Israel, and Syria, I found myself asking out loud, “so is there any hopeful analysis?”  “Well….” Came the response.  Not exactly what I was hoping for. As we in…

Israel’s Worst Enemy

On the 20th yartzeit of Prime Minister Rabin and while Rabbi Ascherman heals from his wounds, we must not let their efforts towards peace be in vain.