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Equal and Pluralistic – challenges and difficulties in Israeli society

with Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch, Bay Area Masorti Visiting Scholar

(A sneak preview for Session One below!)

Wednesday nights: Oct. 6, 20, 27 at 7:30pm-9pm @ Congregation Netivot Shalom (1316 University Ave.)

Class fee: $36-$50 sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds. -- Register with Rachel at

This is a sensitive topic, one we are committed to having in our passion for the Israel we dream of. The course will touch on the status and difficulty in Israel of Charedim ("ultra-Orthodox"), Arab-Israelis, Mizrachi/Sephardi Jews, Russian and Ethiopian Olim, and The GLBTQ community. We will study texts, share conversations, and explore the realities confronting Israeli society in its struggle to be both Equal and Pluralistic to all its inhabitants. A sneak preview for Session One, which will take place THIS WEDNESDAY! --

SESSION ONE: In our first class we will explore the Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) society in Israel while focusing on the challenges that this unique society poses to the state of Israel.
Some of the intriguing questions which the charedi ideology raises are:

  • What does it mean to treat the Haredim as an equal sector in Israeli society? How difficult is it to make room for this special group's rights and needs?
  • What about Haredi education? Does the state to of Israel have the right to dictate its core curriculum? Does Hardei education deserve to be financed by the state although its curriculum does not endorse the state itself?
  • Do non-pluralists have a right to be intolerant? How should we react when Charedim are hurt and offended by women praying with a Talit at the wailing wall or when there is a gay parade in the midst of Jerusalem?

These questions and others will be on the focus of our meeting this coming Wednesday. We will make an effort to carefully listen to and consider the Charedi point of view before reaching our conclusions.
Please join us for the first of three classes at CNS (University st. 1316) on this coming Wednesday October 6, at 7:30 PM

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

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To Kneel [a #Poem]

To Kneel 

(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditorfor Landingham & Kaepernick, our angels in the wings
Sometimes, it isn't about nuance.
Sometimes it just comes down to facing the storm,
calling God out,
standing at the center of a whirlwind
holding your ground.

No cathedral is immune to agony,
no soul impervious to life itself no nation purely noble.
If it were any other way,
there would be no need for cathedrals
in the first place.

Kneel,  stand,  sit,  rise up.

To kneel is
to submit  to lower oneself  to step down  to pause.
To kneel is to call attention  to touch the Earth's face to listen to those  whose blood saturates  the very roots of our story.
To kneel is to step aside  to step outside  to invite others to come closer  to remember.
To kneel is not to stand not to stand not to stand idly by.
Speak your truth,
God damn it.

That's what God wants most of all.

Then There Will Be Enough" - A reflection on this week's #Torah Portion. #toldot #life #wisdom