Mar 27, 2015

SAVE THE DATE! Netivot Shalom and the Center for Jewish Studies at UC Berkeley celebrate Robert Alter!

Save the Date!
celebrate Robert Alter!
Tuesday, May 5  -- 6pm
at Congregation Netivot Shalom
Robert Alter, Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and ComparativeLiterature, and founding Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at UC Berkeley, has been awarded two degrees of Doctor Philsophiae Honoris Causa; one from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and one from the University of Haifa, for his work as "a leading scholar in the field of comparative literature, who combines in his work a passion for language with tireless intellectual curiosity." The Honorary Degree Ceremonies will take place in Spring 2015 in Jerusalem and Haifa. In celebration of our friend and teacher's many accomplishments, the Center for Jewish Studies and Congregation Netivot Shalom will cosponsor a public lecture by Professor Alter on May 5th at Netivot Shalom, celebrating the newest parts of his translation of the Hebrew Bible, followed by conversation with colleagues and light refreshments. All are welcome!
Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please contact for more information.

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Mar 26, 2015


The sixth grade means business at Wendy’s

Let us tell you about what we are dealing with here. There is an order of business called the Fair Food Program. This program is sponsored by the Coalitin of Immokalee Workers in Florida, and helps poor laborers in that state who pick tomatoes to get a little bit of extra money for their work, and more humane working conditions. All the pickers are asking for is that buyers of their tomatoes pay just one more measly penny for each pound of tomatoes they pick. Just $0.01 more for a whole pound.

Keep in mind that the wages of these workers haven’t changed very much in 30 years! Walmart and every single fast food chain, except for Wendy’s, has agreed to join the program and pay a little more for the tomatoes. Our mission — which was inspired by T’ruah, the Jewish voice for justice — was to visit the Walnut Creek Wendy’s and convince the Wendy’s manager to send a letter (signed by all the students in our class) to the HQ of Wendy’s to convince Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program.

There was a lot of preparation beforehand. We had practiced for all of the situations we thought were possible: a mean manager who wanted nothing to do with us, a nice manager that listened and took the letter, and we even practiced a scenario if the manager wasn’t there! Ahead of time, we made many signs not to protest the manager if she said no, but to make a visual appearance.

When we got inside, we asked to see the manager. When she came out, we explained what the Fair Food Program was. She liked the idea and took the letter. Afterwards, we took a picture with her.

When we got back to our classroom, Moreh Eli told us that all of the managers at all of the Wendy’s were instructed not to accept letters from anyone regarding the Fair Food Program. We felt really accomplished. We are hoping that Wendy’s will accept the letter and join the program without further hassle or resistance.

Mar 25, 2015

The Internal Sin of Jewish Demonization

The Internal Sin of Jewish Demonization
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Friends, I feel the need to share what I've felt is a demonizing of AIPAC and those of us (including me) who are active leaders with AIPAC, people who resonate with (and are active activists for) deep progressive values and human rights. It is as if some believe there can't be a world where those who lobby for US funding of Iron Dome (AIPAC did/does, J-Street didn't/doesn't) can't be on the same team as those who challenge the occupation (J-Street did/does, AIPAC didn't/doesn't). 

Also, no one in the demonize-AIPAC camp ever mentions that AIPAC LOST ALL OF SHELDON ADELSON'S FUNDING because AIPAC WOULDN'T make a statement IN SUPPORT OF THE SETTLEMENTS IN THE WEST BANK. There is a disease in the Jewish world, where each side accuses the other of not listening, and thereby of being devoid of the values that - at their core - unite us all as lovers of Israelis and of Palestinians,of Jews and Muslims. 

We are strong and deep enough to envision and build a world where Zionism's nobility is rediscovered and cherished by those discontent with its very human failings, where Palestine is led by statesmen who raise up all people, Palestinians and Israelis. 

The ongoing mutual distrust within the Jewish People is a sin no one should continue committing.

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