I fell in love with Netivot Shalom the first time I visited, just 7 years ago. Here's why: I couldn't count the number of people who took turns leading. And by "leading," I mean davening, welcoming, teaching, and more. That spirit is the soul of our community, and I am so grateful to be a part of the participatory commitment which is the bedrock of our shul. It is a large part of why we stand out in the American Jewish landscape.
Recently, when I attended the Rabbinical Assembly Convention, I noticed a shift in the way rabbinic colleagues discussed their communities. Years ago, the question you knew you'd be asked was "How big is your shul?" That question represents so much of what has been wrong about the established Jewish world: the belief that size defines quality. This year, there was a different kind of question I heard (and was asked) many times: What is special about your home community?
My answer was simple, and each time I shared it, I felt my heart beat stronger and stronger, knowing that while sharing time with my colleagues was precious, I truly missed our home at Netivot Shalom.
What is special about Netivot Shalom? The fact that we love each other so very much, and are committed to loving each other even better.
In just a few weeks, we will honor at our annual Gala (June 15) two humble people who are priceless parts of our community. Milt and Marge Greenstein seek no recognition, avoid the limelight, and pervade our shul, body and soul. There is no room in our building that hasn't been patched, improved, or tended to by their caring hands, and our spiritual life would be so much less without the gifts of their souls and the words of their mouths. We wish a Mazal Tov to two very special friends, and we thank them for allowing us the honor of celebrating the model they set.
That graciousness, that selflessness is the only way Netivot Shalom exists. And so I'm hopeful that you will feel the gratitude and urgency I do to support Netivot Shalom and all we represent in the world. Please make a donation, either for the Gala Tribute Journal, or generally. The submission deadline for ads is this coming Friday, May 23. Email us at email@example.com for assistance and if you have any questions. You also welcome to make additional donations and sponsor tickets for those who might not otherwise be able to attend. You can download the Tribute Journal forms by clicking here.
Netivot Shalom's sacred participatory culture is a value we bring to every facet of our communal life, and so I ask you to participate passionately in building our capacity to support each other with a gift to the shul.
Looking forward to celebrating our 25th Anniversary at the Gala with you!
I had a beautiful day today. I stood with my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.
I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.
Too. Much. War.
The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…