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Showing posts from December, 2010

RECLAIMING THE BIBLE AS A JEWISH BOOK: A CNS Scholar in Residence Masorti Shabbat in memory of Dr. Jacob Milgrom, z”l

RECLAIMING THE BIBLE AS A JEWISH BOOKA CNS Scholar in Residence Masorti Shabbat in memory of Dr. Jacob Milgrom, z"lsponsored by the Ethelyn Simon Fund at Congregation Netivot Shalomcosponsored by Bay Area MasortiFeaturing Professor Benjamin Sommer,
Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages at the Jewish Theological SeminaryJanuary 14th and 15th -- Enjoy a special Erev Shabbat davening, dinner, and after-kiddush learning on Shabbat day featuring Dr. Benjamin Sommer, Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary.Erev Shabbat* (Friday night) will begin with Kabbalat Shabbat at 5:30pm, followed by a catered Shabbat dinner at 6:15pm. During dinner Dr. Sommer will speak on the topic:"The Tent of Meeting and the Presence of God."Dr. Sommer will also teach during our after-Kiddush learning, when his topic will be "Reclaiming the Bible as a Jewish Book", specially dedicated in memory of Dr. Jacob Milgrom, z"l, a beloved …

Masorti Teaches Torah to Haredim

If you're having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online.Share This: "Yellow Pages" in English translation Masorti's "Yellow Pages" poster Masorti Teaches Torah to Haredim with "Sages in the 'Yellow Pages'"Ad/Poster CampaignBold Message: 'Torah Unaccompanied by Work is Path to Sin'Dear Friends,Many Jews know that the medieval philosopher Maimonides, aka Rambam, made his living as a physician. But how many today are aware that the sages of antiquity and other great rabbis throughout history didn't simply sit around studying Torah? Rashi? A vintner. Shammai? A builder. Hillel? A lumberjack. Rav Joshua ben Hananiah? A needlemaker. Plenty of others earned livelihoods as: tailors; cobblers; orchard guards; cistern diggers; potters; surveyors; millers; porters; or distillers. In fact, according to specific references in the Mishnah and the Talmud, rabbis of old were found in just about every occupation that existed. In a creat…

A Torah-True People

A Torah-True People
(C) Rabbi Menachem CreditorWhat makes some stories so impactful is the sense that they matter.  Characters who believe their actions will influence some sort of cosmic sequence reflect with intensity upon every choice.  We readers are privy to these internal realities/perceptions.  And, if it is a truly good story, we believe.Torah is one such story, and the opportunity is before us to live lives worthy of its internal significance.  Every action before us carries destiny-influencing power.  'Torah' means so much more than sacred text.  When some refer to their lifestyles as 'Torah-true' they are demonstrating their internal sense of connectedness to history, power, and destiny.  The challenge before the Jewish People is whether the varying permutations of tradition (including even and especially the 'rebellious' strains) will sense and act in accord with their own significance to the cosmos.This is an important story.  A well-told, urgent s…

Rabbi Alan Lew, z"l

Dear Chevreh,
For those who aren't aware, today has been the 2nd Yahrtzeit of our colleague and teacher Rabbi Alan Lew, z"l.  Here are a few links to some of the gifts he gave: http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Judaism/2003/10/Time-Of-Spiritual-Emergency.aspxhttp://velveteenrabbi.blogs.com/blog/2006/09/seasonal_teachi.htmlhttp://www.jewishlights.com/page/category/alan_lewhttp://www.kolel.org/pages/holidays/5768_YKS1.html Yehi Zichro Baruch / May his memory be a blessing, Menachem

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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Congregation Netivot Shalom || Bay Area Masorti  ||  ShefaNetwork.orgRabbis for Women of the Wall||  menachemcreditor.org To join Rabbi Creditor's email list, send a blank email to thetisch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

New Class! Adult Discover Judaism Class: Life-cycles with R' Shalom Bochner, Tuesdays in January

Discover Judaism:  Jewish Life-cycles with Rabbi Shalom Bochner on Tuesdays, January 4, 11, 18, 25; Time: 7:30 to 9pm                  

The rhythm of a Jewish life is based on recognizing the sacred in moments of transition from one phase to the next.This class will explore the prayers and rituals that have developed around birth, covenanting, coming of age, partnering, separation, and death.Text-study and discussion will be the basis for these conversations directed toward adding meaning to our understandings of the passage of time.No Hebrew is required for this class. Class fee: $40-$60—(sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds) 

Deadline to register: Thursday December 12/30. Please register by e-mail Rachel at: office@netivotshalom.org
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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Congregation Netivot Shalom || Bay Area Masorti  ||  ShefaNetwork.orgRabbis for Women of the Wall||  menachemcreditor.org To join Rabbi Creditor's email list, send a blank email to thetisch-subscribe@yahoogroups.c…

Urgent Funding Request: Masorti Billboards and Bus Ads in Jerusalem

Dear Chevreh,

I am asking for your help.
There are many needs out there.  But this one represents a revolutionary and muscular PR effort from the Masorti Movement, one which has already created a stir in Israel.  I'm asking for your help so that it will successfully reach into and spark the imaginations of Israelis who have lost hope in a healthy Judaism.
This Masorti Billboards and Bus Ad Campaign was featured last night on Israeli TV (Channel 2).  We are hoping to come up with enough money to put up posters and billboards and ads on buses in Jerusalem and other locations.  The cost would be about $20,000.  

The billboards are a statement from Jewish tradition: "Torah that is not accompanied by a worldly trade will in the end amount to nothing and will lead one into sin."  There is a list of rabbis throughout Jewish history who worked in the world.  This is a challenge to those who believe that insularity and entitlement are Jewish values, and should be funded by Israel.   Y…

Help Send Children to Ramah in 2011

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here Ramah: The Best Investment
in Strengthening the Jewish Future
December 2010
Tevet 5771
Please consider making a 2010 year-end contribution to our Ramah scholarship funds.



Dear Friends of Ramah,

Now is the time when thousands of children and teens throughout North America are sending in their applications to spend a wonderful summer at Camp Ramah. Unfortunately, particularly given current economic conditions, many families do not have the financial resources to come to Ramah to meet new friends, experience new activities, and strengthen their commitment to Jewish life and Israel.

In addition to our general scholarship fund, we are seeking funding to support families of children with special needs to attend one of our outstanding Ramah programs. Our inaugural Ramah Galil Ride 2011 will raise funds specifically for special needs program scholarships. We invite you to sponsor a rider or make a general contribution.

In the paragraph below, Yoni Gold…

A Special CNS After-Kiddush Talk on Jan 15th -- RECLAIMING THE BIBLE AS A JEWISH BOOK: THE LEGACY OF JACOB MILGROM, YOCHANAN MUFFS, AND MOSHE GREENBERG

A Special CNS After-Kiddush Talk on Jan 15th RECLAIMING THE BIBLE AS A JEWISH BOOK: THE LEGACY OF JACOB MILGROM, YOCHANAN MUFFS, AND MOSHE GREENBERG Speaker: Professor Benjamin Sommer, Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary at Congregation Netivot Shalom - Shabbat, Jan 15th 
The past year marked the end of an era for Jewish biblical scholarship with the passing of four great scholars who developed distinctively Jewish and original ways of reading the Bible as modern critical scholars. Professors Jacob Milgrom (beloved Netivot Shalom member), Yochanan Muffs, Moshe Greenberg,  and Moshe Weinfeld exerted extraordinary influence on both Jewish and Christian scholars who came after them. In this after-kiddush talk, Professor Benjamin Sommer, Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary, will describe how they combined traditional Jewish learning with modern historical methods to recover lost voices of Jewish the…

A Meditation Upon Giving a Bat/Bar Mitzvah their Tallit

A Meditation Upon Giving a Bat/Bar Mitzvah their Tallit
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

The tallit I am about to give you is heavy.  
Even if the material is light, the meaning is something I pray you will feel very deeply.  When some prepare to wear our tallit, they recite a mystical saying about "God wearing Light like a garment."  I don't know what that means, but I believe there's something to think about.  Maybe once you wear this tallit, perhaps on a day when no one else is watching, you and I will be able to talk about how it felt.
When I look at you, growing older, my heart stops.  You are not the small child I wept over.  My tears today come from a different place.  You aren't as innocent as you once were.  And I share with you an understanding gained over time that a tallit is not only an object of beauty.  Jewish hands have sometimes trembled holding our holy objects.  I pray that you feel protected and safe in your tallit, that you only know the pride and joy…

Masorti Foundation: Conversion Bills Update

If you're having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online. Share This: Dear Friends, A further update on the conversion bill. Natan Sharansky has written a letter to Jewish Agency leadership which has now been made public, so we can share it with you. It is both reproduced below and accessible via this link: http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/update-on-idf-conversion-law/. We are encouraged by the steady support of Natan Sharansky and, here, in the United States, by the efforts of Jerry Silverman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Federations of North America. You will recall there are two pending conversion bills: Rotem I, which would enhance the power of the Chief Rabbinate, which we oppose; and Rotem II, which would make IDF-sponsored conversions independent of the Chief Rabbinate, which we support. There does not currently appear to be a likelihood of action in the next week or so on Rotem I. We are monitoring the situation and will let you know of …

Additional Resources for "Israelis and the Jewish Tradition: Some Starting-Texts for a Conversation"

Additional Resources for "Israelis and the Jewish Tradition: Some Starting-Texts for a Conversation"
How The Zionist Revolution Changed Chanukah, Francine Klagsbrun- http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial_opinion/opinion/how_zionist_revolution_changed_chanukahhttp://www.hartmaninstitute.com/Holidays_Article_View_Eng.asp?Article_Id=105'The Golem of Scholem; Messianism and Zionism in the Writings of Rabbi Avraham Isaac HaKohen Kook and Gershom Scholem' , Amnon Raz-KrakotzkinThe Sacred and the Secular; Zionism, Education and Community; the Writings of AI Kook, YY Reines, and Sr Hirsch , Raymond GoldwaterZionism as Revolution, Rabbi Menachem Creditor - http://rabbicreditor.blogspot.com/2010/08/selected-writings-on-israel.html

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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Congregation Netivot Shalom || Bay Area Masorti  ||  ShefaNetwork.orgRabbis for Women of the Wall||  menachemcreditor.org To join Rabbi Creditor's email list, send a blank email to thetisch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

a crosspost with ShefaNetwork.org from David Lissy, exec director of the Masorti Foundation

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Lissy<dlissy@masorti.org>
Date: Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 10:53 AM
Subject: [Shefa]
To: Shefa Network <shefa@yahoogroups.com>

I have attached a PDF as well as the link below to an excellent opinion piece by Emily Levy-Shochat, Chair of the Masorti movement in Israel, in today's Jerusalem Post weekend magazine.  I hope you will find it of interest and give it wide distribution.Shabbat Shalom.http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=199694David H. LissyExecutive Director and CEOMasorti Foundation 475 Riverside Drive    Suite 832New York, New York  10115-0122212-870-2216dlissy@masorti.org __._,_.___ Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post | Start a New Topic Messages in this topic (1) Recent Activity:New Members1Visit Your Group Visit our home page at http://www.shefanetwork.org

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"Shef…

jta: "Barriers broken, female rabbis look to broader influence"

Click to Print Barriers broken, female rabbis look to broader influence By Penny Schwartz · December 13, 2010 NEWTON, Mass. (JTA) -- Lynne Kern knew at 13 that she wanted to be a rabbi, even though in 1970 there were no female rabbis to act as role models. So Kern became a writer, eventually winning a Pulitzer Prize for journalism. But she never forgot her passion, and in 2001 she completed her rabbinic studies and was ordained as a Conservative rabbi at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. Now, four decades since her bat mitzvah, Kern is working with filmmaker Ronda Spinak on a documentary about female rabbis. Kern was behind the camera in Boston last week filming a panel discussion by the first four women to become rabbis in their respective denominations. The latest addition to the group was Rabba Sara Hurwitz, who had the title, a feminized version of "rabbi," conferred upon her about a year ago by a Modern Orthodox rabbi, Avi Weiss. The Dec. 6 event was the first t…