Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King Jr.

Abraham Joshua Heschel was born on January 11, 1907. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. But there is so much more than just having birthdays this month that unite these two amazing men. The photograph of Abraham Joshua Heschel walking arm in arm with Martin Luther...

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Jonah’s Fear, Our Fear; Yom Kippur Sermon

by Rabbi Jill Maderer (delivered Yom Kippur morning, main sanctuary) Picture an ocean.  Two waves approach the shoreline and share a conversation along the way.  The large wave reports to the smaller, “Trouble’s ahead!  I wish you could see what I see.  Then you would understand, that we have a...

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Awe: A Place Where Nothing is Old; Kol Nidre Sermon

by Rabbi Jill Maderer (delivered Kol Nidre “Alternative” service) A story is told of 3 astronauts who went into space.  Upon returning, they were asked to reflect on the experience.  One said, “I kept thinking, the world looks so small from outer space—the universe is so vast.”  The second answered,...

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Ultra-Orthodox Jewish View of Elena Kagan

An interesting article caught the eye of RS member Matt Olesh.  A recent CNSNews.com piece, “Jewish Clergy Group: Elena Kagan Isn’t ‘Kosher’ to Serve on Supreme Court” reports on the views of the Rabbinical Alliance of America.  Although the title refers to “Jewish Clergy Group,” it’s important to understand that...

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Liberal Zionism in the Wake of the Flotilla

by Rabbi Jill Maderer In his recent New York Review of Books essay, “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment,” Peter Beinart, professor of journalism and political science at CUNY, captures his understanding of the status of American Zionism with these provocative words: “For several decades, the Jewish establishment has...

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Is the Torah true?

One of the most common questions I am asked: Is the Torah true?  Did it happen?  Our liberal Jewish community is compelled to seek meaning in the Torah and understand it as sacred text.  Yet, we don’t want to check our brains at the door or ignore biblical scholarship.  One...

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Open Tent Initiative

The “Open Tent Initiative” is a wonderful way to build a strong sense of community. Congregation Rodeph Shalom (RS) recently won an award given by the Union for Reform Judaism (the umbrella organization for all of the Reform Jewish congregations in North America) for our “Open Tent Initiative.” This initiative...

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(Another Reason) Why I love what I do.

Boy is it cold out there.  For me, a Miami boy, this is skin-peeling cold.  I know because I just walked four blocks up Broad Street in this wind.  I was walking to visit my friend Josh at the Red Shield Shelter.  Josh is the Business Manager at the shelter,...

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