I’ve attended many seders in the U.S. and several other countries during my 60 years. Some have been memorable, and others have been, well, slightly less memorable, fusing into an abstract painting in my mind.
If you will it, it will not remain just a dream.
So I had a little too much to drink at the Independence Day picnic and my head was spinning so I lay down on the grass for a minute…
The utter horror of the murderous shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut remains in all of our minds and has rightly propelled us into a critical dialogue that we hope will produce real action after so many years. And the problem has been with us for many years. Much of the time, families and communities – especially in our inner cities – have fought on the front lines against gun violence without much attention from the rest of society. Now, with the alarming and increasing regularity of mass shootings – every couple of years it seems – like those in Newtown and Aurora, it should be clear to all of us that gun violence is our collective problem as a nation, and must be addressed in all of its forms.
This year at our Passover seder, I experienced something deeply powerful which I had not felt in the context of Passover before.
I met him on my flight back to Boston from Atlanta. He was a Muslim student from Dubai, I was a Jewish student from the United States. We had come from very different places but were on our way to the same university.
Jason Collins is black and gay. Who is Collins and why do these things matter? Some background: Collins is a good (albeit not great) active NBA basketball player, which means he is better than 99.99% of the basketball players in the world.
In his second year in office, President George Washington wrote a letter to the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island - one of our Nation's first Jewish houses of worship - and reaffirmed our country's commitment to religious freedom. He noted that the Government of the United States would give "to bigotry no sanction [and] to persecution no assistance," and that all Americans are entitled to "liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship." Those words ring as true today as they did then, and they speak to a principle as old as America itself: that no matter who you are, where you come from, or what faith you practice, all of us have an equal share in America's promise.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Alfred & Adele Davis Academy, Atlanta’s Reform Jewish Day School, has produced Be a Blessing, a 13-song collection of original Jewish music.
A piece of my soul died when we decided that my son Ben’s autism would necessitate a reexamination of a conventional bar mitzvah service.