Of Hospital Gowns and Hebrew

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Dear Friends,

In this week’s Torah portion, Miketz, the very reason Joseph needed to be in Egypt in the first place becomes clear. Pharaoh has dreams that no one is able to interpret. Joseph is brought from the prison. He is not only able to interpret Pharoah’s dreams but, based upon those dreams, he puts a plan in place and turns that plan into reality. During the seven years of abundance he stores up as much food as possible so that, when the seven lean years arrive, he and the rest of the society are ready.

Vision and tenacity- those are the qualities Joseph relied upon. They are the same qualities that explain why Am Yisrael Chai- the People of Israel Live!

As the final Shabbat of 2016 approaches I am writing to you from the warmth and comfort of my home here in South Orange. Raina and I were …

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On Donald Trump’s Appearance at AIPAC Policy Conference 2016


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Once again the AIPAC Policy Conference is garnering a great deal of attention. As I, along with over 30 TSTI members, prepare to head to Washington DC as PC Delegates, the fact that Republican front runner Donald Trump is scheduled to speak has become an issue of significant discussion and debate. Earlier this week the Reform Movement released a statement about his campaign as well as his appearance at Policy Conference.  On the one hand, it stated,

The Reform Jewish Movement has always worked very closely with AIPAC. We respect completely its decision to invite all the viable candidates for president to speak at its upcoming Policy Conference. By inviting the candidates to speak, AIPAC does not support or oppose their candidacies, nor does it condone or commend their policies. AIPAC has, as it must, a singular focus: the U.S./Israel relationship. AIPAC’s intent – and its responsibility – is to

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A Moment of Unity: 5 Ingredients to a Good Deal

by Rabbi Daniel Cohen
and
Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner

This week marks the one-year anniversary (yahrtzeit) of the kidnapping and gruesome murders of three young boys in Israel.

David-Seth: I attended the funeral for the boys, who were buried side by side on a small hill in the town of Moddi’in – center geographically to the homes of the three families.

In the sweltering heat, 12,000 people gathered to pay respects to boys that most had never met. Perhaps a handful of the 12,000 assembled knew the deceased’s name 18 days previous. We were religious and secular, Jews and Gentiles, politicians and taxi drivers, men and women gathered in a rare moment of unity and grief.

The Head of School for two of the boys eulogized his students. His remarks still inspire me: “Two Jews. Three opinions. One heart.” When the going gets tough, indeed we are one heart. One …

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Sending Aid to Nepal

  
Dear Friends,

The news coming out of Nepal is more and more tragic with each updated reports. It is no surprise that Israel immediately set out to get relief workers on-site as has been the case with so many tragedies of this magnitude. The Jewish State is quick to offer assistance and, when such assistance is accepted, (which isn’t always the case), quick to follow through on the offer. It is also no surprise that Jewish organizations throughout America are putting together efforts to raise funds. Click here for a list provided by the Reform Movement.

One of the hallmarks of the Jewish community is that we look out for our own AND for those we may never meet. This is one such time. Any support we can give as a community will be truly impactful.

The Times of Israel offers some insight into Israel’s mission. Click here

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Latest TOI Post- I’m an  AIPAC Activist Without Quotes

  

On March 1st, Rabbi Jonah Geffen, the Rabbinic Director for J-Street posted on Facebook what can be seen as a challenge to his fellow rabbinic colleagues who were about to attend the AIPAC Policy Conference.

Question for all my “progressive” rabbi friends at AIPAC this week. Especially those who have spoken out against the PM’s speech to congress. Are you going to to lobby congress if the issue is Iran and your assigned ask is for your congresspeople to vote against the President?

As The J-Street Conference with some 3000 delegates (1000 of them students) approaches, I revisited this post and came away with a few questions and new insights.

Read more: I’m an AIPAC Activist and Progressive Without Quotes | Daniel M. Cohen | The Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/im-an-aipac-activist-and-progressive-without-quotes/#ixzz3VKA2jS00 

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/im-an-aipac-activist-and-progressive-without-quotes/

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Must read- Apologies and the Arab Community

  

The President of Israel doesn’t have a whole lot of responsibilities, but one of them, when the job is done well and the holder of the office is well respected, has been to be a sort of moral and ethical conscience. In that light, President Rivlin’s suggestion that there is no place for such remarks in elections and the suggestions coming forth that Benjamin Netanyahu apologize to the Arab community for his racial and ethnic based comments should be appreciated and followed…

 Read the rest

http://weareforisrael.org/2015/03/22/apologies-and-the-arab-community/…

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Sharing Our Stories- w/ Reverend Dr. Tony Crisp

 

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I had the privilege this evening to share the stage with @DrTonyCrisp at the @AIPAC #NEGala . We shared a bit of our stories and talked about our love for and commitment to, the State of Israel.

At a time when people of different faiths, political parties and social views seem to talk with one another less and less it was an honor to stand with my colleague and new friend to model what is possible when we celebrate what binds us rather than obsessing on what divides us.

I’m hoping to invite him to come speak to the TSTI community in the very near future.

 

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