“Once We Were Slaves:” The Modern Slavery of Human Trafficking*

At this week’s seder, Jews recited “Once we were slaves.” Who, today, is still vulnerable to the shackles of injustice?  I recently learned about a sex trafficking awareness initiative of the Women of Vision, a part of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. I am grateful to the Federation for shining...

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Anti-Muslim or Anti-Jew, It’s All Bigotry

I recently coordinated a panel on global anti-Semitism. Participants learned about the efforts of the U.S. State Department and the American Jewish Committee in their work urging foreign governments to crack down on the perpetrators of anti-Semitic attacks.   I was struck by a comment from US Department of State Team Leader of Anti-Semitism and...

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Reminder Days: LGBT Movement’s 50th Anniversary

This month, the National Constitution Center and the William Way LGBT Community Center announced a partnership for an exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first LGBT protests in the nation. In 1965, and for the next 4 years, gay rights activists gathered outside Independence Hall carrying picket signs and...

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Taking Down the Fence

This week, we have witnessed the chain-link fence around the congregation come down!  We are not simply taking it down because it’s old or ugly.  We are taking the fence down as we build up our relationships and partnerships within the community and throughout Philadelphia! Jewish law teaches the one stipulation for...

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From Tel Aviv to Ramallah: A Beatbox Journey Performance

    Check out this preview video. On Wed., Dec. 3rd from 7pm to 9pm, human beatbox master Yuri Lane and Muslim video artist DJ Sharif Ezzat perform “From Tel Aviv to Ramallah: A Beatbox Journey,” a genre-smashing hip-hop travelogue of peace. In partnership with Temple University’s Feinstein Center for American...

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Counting the Omer: I stand with Ruth

On this final day of the Omer as we enter Shavuot and read the Book of Ruth, we reflect upon her immigration into the land and people of Israel, the loving-kindness with which Naomi welcomes Ruth and the loving-kindness which Ruth embraces Naomi.  In is blog post “We Stand with the Ruth...

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Counting the Omer: In Honor of the Memory of Maya Angelou

For teaching us the redemptive healing in telling our stories, for inspiring civil rights work not yet complete, for captivating a country with written and spoken word, thank you, Maya Angelou.  May your memory be a blessing. On today’s Omer counting, in honor of Maya Angelou’s memory, we pray that,...

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Counting the Omer: No Appeal on Justice

Still in the afterglow of yesterday’s ruling to strike down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage, we just learned that the governor will not appeal!  The rejoicing for this step towards LGBT civil rights now feels even more real.  At this moment in the Omer, we look back from where we...

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Counting the Omer: 2 Impact Opportunities For Marriage Equality

There are 2 opportunities to act for LGBT civil rights this week, so in today’s count, we focus on social change!  FIRST: FOR THE RIGHT TO HAVE A MARRIAGE RECOGNIZED STATE TO STATE, JOIN US THIS THURS–US District Judge Mary McLaughlin has scheduled the oral arguments for Cara Palladino & Isabelle Barker...

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