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Rabbi's Week In Review - 11/22/2022

11/22/2022 10:30:45 AM


I am heartsick and outraged by the murder of five people and injury to 19 by a hateful, immoral tyrant at the LGBTQ+ nightclub, Club Q, in Colorado Springs. I, as rabbi, and we at Congregation Kol Ami stand in love with our queer Jewish family and everyone in the queer community.  

Sadly, this is the inevitable result of all of the hate speech directed toward the queer community by many leaders in the Republican...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 11/14/2022

11/14/2022 04:06:25 PM


I attended a shiva service this past week for Ruth Roth. She attended our High Holy Day services at Kol Ami but was not well-known in our community. I met Ruth through my time as a rabbinic intern at Ohev Sholom. She became interested in our shul after Ohev’s merger with Beth Shalom. I learned that she really enjoyed our service and was interested in joining Kol Ami.

I do not mention this to slip in an accolade for Kol Ami. For me,...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 11/7/2022

11/07/2022 02:49:00 PM


During last Friday’s Erev Shabbat service, I spoke (at somewhat longer length than usual for a Shabbat service) about the elections last week in Israel. The great and scary irony for me is that, at a time when the rise of anti-Semitism is front and center in the news, Israel is giving increased voice and legitimacy to Itamar Ben Gvir, known as the David Duke (the Ku Klux Klan leader) of Israel.

Without even considering our own...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 10/31/2022

10/31/2022 03:12:12 PM


I attended a retreat for my rabbinic fellowship, the Clergy Leadership Incubator, at the Brandeis-Bardin retreat center in Simi Valley, California, last week. Having been the recipient of an onslaught of information, as well as a highly emotional experience, I have much to unpack from my four days there.

One piece that stands out came from one of the presenters, Rabbi Sharon Brous, of Ikar. Ikar is a cutting-edge synagogue in L.A.,...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 10/25/2022

10/25/2022 10:36:50 AM


While I will be somewhat off the grid this week for a retreat of my rabbinic Clergy Leadership Incubator, I head off feeling joyful about having participated in two simchahs over the weekend. On Saturday, we celebrated the bar mitzvah of Aiden Yampolsky, the son of former congregants Justin Yampolsky, Austine Roney (f/k/a Dia Matthews during her time in Kansas City with Kol Ami), and Roney Eapen. (I participated in person, in Madison,...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 10/17/2022

10/17/2022 04:15:35 PM


While there is no way I would describe a pandemic in positive terms, I have learned a couple of things the last two-plus years that we can take with us going forward. 

While Zoom is not a fully satisfying substitute for gathering in person, the Zoom world helped keep our local community connected during lockdown. It also allowed us to reach out beyond our congregation to find former congregants who have moved away, and family and...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 10/10/2022

10/10/2022 04:05:42 PM


In this week’s news:

Kanye West tweets out a virulent anti-Semitic tweet, a lengthy public attack on Jews, saying in part, “I’m going death con 3 on Jewish People.”

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita defends the attack, asserting that it is hypocritical to speak out against Kanye’s hate-filled anti-Semitism, and referring to Kanye’s tweet as “independent thinking.”

Defending against this sort of...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 10/6/2022

10/06/2022 09:15:00 AM


By the time you read this, we will be past Yom Kippur looking toward Sukkot, which begins this Sunday evening. Sukkot is Z’man Simchateinu, the Season of our Joy. This emotional swing from the difficulty of confronting our behavior on Yom Kippur actually begins with the Yom Kippur concluding service, Neilah, which ends the day on a high note.

It is always gratifying to see the community come together at the end of a long Yom...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 9/27/2022

09/27/2022 04:51:58 PM


With this time on the Jewish calendar, from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, there is much to contemplate.  We reflect on the Jewish year just past and wonder what the coming year of 5783 will hold for us.

On this day, my thoughts simply are that whatever befalls us, we have a kehilah, a Jewish community, to share all of it. To be part of the Kol Ami family is my (and our) great gift — a place to seek a...Read more...

Rabbi's Week In Review - 9/20/2022

09/20/2022 11:05:00 AM


I recently taught the Jewish calendar to the community-wide conversion class. For some of the conversion students, it was not the first time I had been studying with them. They have been pretty regular participants in Kol Ami study and worship, beginning earlier this summer.

Having made the choice to become part of the Jewish community (and hopefully Kol Ami), they bring a sense of commitment and energy that is transformative for our...Read more...

Sun, November 27 2022 3 Kislev 5783