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Rabbi's Week in Review - 9/12/2023

09/12/2023 10:35:52 AM


In the new year of 5784:

Shanah tovah u’metukah — a good and sweet year

L’shanah tovah tikateivu v’teichteimu — a good year and may you be inscribed and sealed [in the Book of Life].

May we all look forward to the New Year 5784 as a year of goodness, and a year of meaning and renewed determination to heal the brokenness in our world.

Looking forward to celebrating with all of you this Rosh Hashanah....Read more...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 9/5/2023

09/05/2023 10:06:51 AM


As I write this on Labor Day, I am not thinking about the usual Labor Day stuff — transitioning into the school year (although that starts earlier every year), grilling outside (although in 90-plus heat, no one seems to be doing it this year), and not heading out to my mailbox for the mail that is not there. This year on Labor Day, I am actually thinking about those who labor — the workers.

A few thoughts on workers on this...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 8/28/2023

08/28/2023 05:27:30 PM


A cohort of national multifaith leaders, put together by Faith in Action, attended a conference in Kansas City last week. (I’m not sure why they chose KC.) As a member of the Faith in Action Clergy Organizers Advisory Board, I was made aware of the conference, and Fay and I hosted a dinner for the cohort at our home. During the dinner, I conducted a panel discussion on the intersection of justice work and multifaith relationship. I was...Read more...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 8/21/2023

08/21/2023 05:20:41 PM


We at Congregation Kol Ami have always committed ourselves to be a most welcoming community. For us, this has meant welcoming those who may have felt unwelcome or somehow marginalized at other shuls. As we like to say, we want to welcome anyone who is somewhere on a Jewish journey or who supports anyone on that journey.

Probably the most challenging part of my work as rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami has come when we have welcomed...Read more...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 8/14/2023

08/14/2023 02:42:25 PM


I am writing in regard to the Roeland Park City Council hearing held Monday, August 7, and specifically to the resolution on anti-Semitism. As I was out of town and could not attend the hearing, my response is actually to the article in the KC Jewish Chronicle covering the hearing. As such, I am assuming accuracy in how the article described the events of the evening, and that those quoted in the article were done so accurately.

I...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 8/7/2023

08/07/2023 10:53:56 PM


We were inundated with news and commentary this past week regarding the Trump indictment(s). I have to admit to being a bit of a legal wonk about this stuff, notwithstanding that it has been decades since I have actively practiced law or have even taken a continuing legal education course. It comes out in me regarding issues about the overarching importance of the rule of law in our country (also an issue of vital importance as the judicial...Read more...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 8/1/2023

08/01/2023 09:30:23 AM


It is good to be back on with our Congregation Kol Ami newsletter after a summer hiatus. While summer is a time in which we expect to take a break, the Jewish calendar, with its particular logical rhythm, pushes us forward toward a continual process of self-reflection, self-improvement and living Torah in our daily lives. It is a balance of mourning/sadness and celebration/joy, contemplation/study and action/engagement.  

In...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 6/19/2023

06/19/2023 06:08:58 PM


I spent the better part of last week at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, Connecticut, at the final/culminating retreat for my Clergy Leadership Incubator (CLI), a two-year rabbinic fellowship striving to promote significant transformation of synagogue life. (And I, the rabbi, consistently test as an introvert every time I take a Myers-Briggs personality test, resulting in an approach to retreats bordering on...Read more...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 6/12/2023

06/12/2023 10:16:18 PM


We had a wonderful service this past Shabbat at the Manheim Community Garden. Every time we are out in the garden, it is a gift for us and a valuable contribution to our community.

Some thank-yous as I reflect back on our Shabbat time together. Thanks to Steve and Linda Sackin for being instrumental (as in, it would have never happened nor continue to happen without them) in all that is good about the Manheim Garden. Thanks to...Read more...

Rabbi's Week in Review - 6/6/2023

06/06/2023 10:01:09 AM


For someone who can make no claim of musicianship, I have made music a pretty constant companion my entire life. I cannot recall a time when I was without music, and I can track certain times in my life to specific songs or groups that were prominent during that time.  

This has much to do with my being enamored of the radio as a form of communication. As a kid, I would get up early in our home and sit by the radio in the...Read more...

Mon, December 11 2023 28 Kislev 5784