A community of communities

May 2015

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 1:57pm -- Rabbi

 

 

There is a custom on the night of Shavuot to pull an all-nighter of Torah study, known as a Tikkun Leil Shavuot. The Zohar teaches that our work on this night is not just that of studying, but of "beading," of stringing together pearls of wisdom from the riches of Torah. We imagine Shavuot as the wedding of God and the Jewish people. As we study the stories of our Torah, the preaching of our prophets and the twists of our Talmud, it is as if we are stringing together a beautiful beaded necklace to adorn the bride on her wedding day. Each new insight that we offer only makes the jewelry more exquisite. I hope you will join us over the holiday of Shavuot to delve into the treasures of our Torah and to assemble them anew. 

 

Our Tikkun Leil Shavuot begins Saturday night at 8:00 PM at GJC and brings together our Northwest Jewish Community from GJC, Mishkan Shalom, P'nai Or, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Tikkun Olam Chavurah. Shavuot learning, prayer and celebration will continue throughout the weekend. Our Charry and Masorti communities will meet together at 10:00 AM on Sunday morning in the Canteen Room. Dorshei Derekh will daven in the Maslow Auditorium. On Monday, our Charry Service will meet at 10:00 AM in the Charry Sanctuary as we sing the songs of Hallel, recite the prayers of Yizkor and also hold a plaque dedication ceremony in memory of beloved community members and relatives who have died. Minyan Masorti will hold a service at 10:00 AM in the Canteen Room. Let's come together in community to remember, to celebrate and to unearth new understandings of ancient words of Torah.

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Mon, 05/18/2015 - 8:00am -- Rabbi

So close to home, our city has been shaken by the derailment of Amtrak Train 188 on the way from Washington to New York this past Tuesday night. It is hard to believe that this tragedy has happened less than ten miles from GJC, on a train-line so many of us and those close to us know well. We mourn the loss of Laura Finamore, Giuseppe Piras, Justin Zemser, Jim Gaines, Abid Gilani, Rachel Jacobs, Derrick Griffith and Bob Gildersleeve. We pray that their loved ones will be held by family, friends and community as they grieve. We pray for healing for all those who were injured, in body and in spirit. We are grateful to Philadelphia's first responders, to our police officers, firefighters and EMT's, to the doctors and nurses in our city's trauma centers and hospitals, to neighbors who came out of their Frankford Avenue homes to help. "Each of us is but a breath," we read in Psalm 39.  Our lives are so precious and so fragile. This week, we are reminded of how much is beyond our control and how much we need each other to make it through this world. May the breath of Shabbat sustain us and help us to remember what is most important. As we continue our counting of the Omer, may we see each new day as a gift; an opportunity for love, connection and action. 

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Fri, 05/08/2015 - 2:57pm -- Rabbi


As we approach Mothers' Day this Sunday, I would like to share an adaptation of a powerful prayer composed by writer Amy Young. I was moved by the way the prayer names and calls attention to the varied spectrum of experiences within a religious community when it comes to mothering and being mothered. I hope some of these words resonate with you wherever you are this year and that you will remember that your unique story matters. On this Shabbat of Erev Mothers' Day, may you know that you are seen, known and loved as you are.

 

To those who gave birth this year to a child - we celebrate with you.

 

To those who lost a child this year - we mourn with you.

 

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains - we appreciate you.

 

To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, termination of a pregnancy, failed adoptions, or running away-we mourn with you.

 

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment - we walk with you.

 

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms - we need you.

 

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children or mother - we celebrate with you.

 

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children or mother - we sit with you.

 

To those who lost their mothers this year - we grieve with you.

 

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother - we acknowledge your experience.

 

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood - we are better for having you in our midst.

 

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year - we grieve and rejoice with you.

 

To those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising, and those expecting a new addition to your family -we anticipate with you.

 

This Mothers' Day, we walk with you, we honor your resilience and we remember you.

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Fri, 05/08/2015 - 2:57pm -- Rabbi


As we approach Mothers' Day this Sunday, I would like to share an adaptation of a powerful prayer composed by writer Amy Young. I was moved by the way the prayer names and calls attention to the varied spectrum of experiences within a religious community when it comes to mothering and being mothered. I hope some of these words resonate with you wherever you are this year and that you will remember that your unique story matters. On this Shabbat of Erev Mothers' Day, may you know that you are seen, known and loved as you are.

 

To those who gave birth this year to a child - we celebrate with you.

 

To those who lost a child this year - we mourn with you.

 

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains - we appreciate you.

 

To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, termination of a pregnancy, failed adoptions, or running away-we mourn with you.

 

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment - we walk with you.

 

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms - we need you.

 

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children or mother - we celebrate with you.

 

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children or mother - we sit with you.

 

To those who lost their mothers this year - we grieve with you.

 

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother - we acknowledge your experience.

 

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood - we are better for having you in our midst.

 

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year - we grieve and rejoice with you.

 

To those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising, and those expecting a new addition to your family -we anticipate with you.

 

This Mothers' Day, we walk with you, we honor your resilience and we remember you.

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Fri, 05/08/2015 - 2:57pm -- Rabbi


As we approach Mothers' Day this Sunday, I would like to share an adaptation of a powerful prayer composed by writer Amy Young. I was moved by the way the prayer names and calls attention to the varied spectrum of experiences within a religious community when it comes to mothering and being mothered. I hope some of these words resonate with you wherever you are this year and that you will remember that your unique story matters. On this Shabbat of Erev Mothers' Day, may you know that you are seen, known and loved as you are.

 

To those who gave birth this year to a child - we celebrate with you.

 

To those who lost a child this year - we mourn with you.

 

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains - we appreciate you.

 

To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, termination of a pregnancy, failed adoptions, or running away-we mourn with you.

 

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment - we walk with you.

 

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms - we need you.

 

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children or mother - we celebrate with you.

 

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children or mother - we sit with you.

 

To those who lost their mothers this year - we grieve with you.

 

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother - we acknowledge your experience.

 

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood - we are better for having you in our midst.

 

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year - we grieve and rejoice with you.

 

To those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising, and those expecting a new addition to your family -we anticipate with you.

 

This Mothers' Day, we walk with you, we honor your resilience and we remember you.

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Fri, 05/08/2015 - 2:57pm -- Rabbi


As we approach Mothers' Day this Sunday, I would like to share an adaptation of a powerful prayer composed by writer Amy Young. I was moved by the way the prayer names and calls attention to the varied spectrum of experiences within a religious community when it comes to mothering and being mothered. I hope some of these words resonate with you wherever you are this year and that you will remember that your unique story matters. On this Shabbat of Erev Mothers' Day, may you know that you are seen, known and loved as you are.

 

To those who gave birth this year to a child - we celebrate with you.

 

To those who lost a child this year - we mourn with you.

 

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains - we appreciate you.

 

To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, termination of a pregnancy, failed adoptions, or running away-we mourn with you.

 

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment - we walk with you.

 

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms - we need you.

 

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children or mother - we celebrate with you.

 

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children or mother - we sit with you.

 

To those who lost their mothers this year - we grieve with you.

 

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother - we acknowledge your experience.

 

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood - we are better for having you in our midst.

 

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year - we grieve and rejoice with you.

 

To those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising, and those expecting a new addition to your family -we anticipate with you.

 

This Mothers' Day, we walk with you, we honor your resilience and we remember you.

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Fri, 05/08/2015 - 2:57pm -- Rabbi


As we approach Mothers' Day this Sunday, I would like to share an adaptation of a powerful prayer composed by writer Amy Young. I was moved by the way the prayer names and calls attention to the varied spectrum of experiences within a religious community when it comes to mothering and being mothered. I hope some of these words resonate with you wherever you are this year and that you will remember that your unique story matters. On this Shabbat of Erev Mothers' Day, may you know that you are seen, known and loved as you are.

 

To those who gave birth this year to a child - we celebrate with you.

 

To those who lost a child this year - we mourn with you.

 

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains - we appreciate you.

 

To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, termination of a pregnancy, failed adoptions, or running away-we mourn with you.

 

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment - we walk with you.

 

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms - we need you.

 

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children or mother - we celebrate with you.

 

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children or mother - we sit with you.

 

To those who lost their mothers this year - we grieve with you.

 

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother - we acknowledge your experience.

 

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood - we are better for having you in our midst.

 

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year - we grieve and rejoice with you.

 

To those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising, and those expecting a new addition to your family -we anticipate with you.

 

This Mothers' Day, we walk with you, we honor your resilience and we remember you.

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Wed, 05/06/2015 - 2:33pm -- Rabbi


 

This past week, I had the privilege of participating in a Rabbinical Assembly conference at JTS celebrating the 30th anniversary of the ordination of women in the Conservative movement. I was moved by the stories of the first generation of women rabbis, pioneers and innovators, who pushed against social barriers in order to bring their Torah into the world. We spoke about how many of their struggles are shared by the first generation of openly gay and lesbian Conservative rabbis who are now out in the field, teaching powerful Torah and touching lives. I am proud to be part of the Conservative movement of Judaism, rooted in tradition while questioning and adapting in order to be a vibrant and vital voice in the present day. I am grateful for our Women's Club and for those who have given so generously to the Torah Fund over the years in order to strengthen the institutions of the Conservative/Masorti movement to meet the challenges of sustaining Jewish life in our time in North America, Israel and around the world. This Sunday morning, I look forward to being with many of you as we honor Judy Schwartz and Beverly Somerson at the Torah Fund Brunch for their dedication to Women's Club and the Torah Fund and as we hear from Chancellor Arnold Eisen of JTS, a beloved teacher, who will share his insights and Torah with us. May our Torah be always a tree of life for those who take hold of her, a source of joy and a path to peace.

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