Feb 18, 2016

An Invitation to the Launch of Rabbis Against Gun Violence (RAGV)

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We want to share the exciting news of the recent launch of the group Rabbis Against Gun Violence (RAGV) and invite you to join us as we raise our voice to save lives.

We are a national grassroots coalition of Jewish American leaders and faith activists from across the denominational spectrum mobilized to curb the current gun violence epidemic plaguing our communities, with nearly 900 members on board already. 

We believe in the inherent dignity and sacredness of every human life and believe that every gun death – whether from urban violence, suicide, domestic violence, accidental shootings, or mass shootings - diminishes us.  With nearly 33,000 Americans killed by guns each year – that’s an unimaginable 89 lives a day, including 7 children and teens - we feel a fierce moral imperative to speak and to act.

Rooted in and inspired by Jewish values and teachings, we use our rabbinic voice to educate and advocate for positive, achievable solutions that will save lives and make our communities safer. 

·         Become a member now and get information and updates by requesting to join our private Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RabbisAgainstGunViolence/

·         Like our public Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/RabbisAgainstGunViolence/

·         Follow us on Twitter at: @RabbisAgstGunV

Please share this message far and wide with your network of colleagues, friends, neighbors, congregants and family.  We welcome members from all backgrounds who support our efforts.  

Together, we can make a difference.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor                                                  
RAGV Founder and Co-Chair                                                                      

Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin
RAGV Co-Chair

Eileen Soffer
RAGV National Coordinator

More About Us

We are committed to civil and respectful discourse even in the most contentious of situations. We are non-partisan and do not endorse candidates. Rather, we hold those in all spheres of public life accountable and responsible for their words and actions with regard to safeguarding our communities from gun violence. We know we can save lives without infringing on 2nd Amendment rights. We work in partnership with those who share our goals. 

Our Issues

Informed by the research and advice of policy and legal experts in the field of gun violence prevention, we support a wide variety of efforts to save lives and to change the culture around gun violence including the following:

ü  Strengthen Enforcement of Current Gun Laws

ü  Support Background Checks For All Gun Purchases To Help Keep Guns Out Of The Hands Of Dangerous People

-          Include sales online and at gun shows
-          Ensure sufficient federal funding for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, so that states have the resources necessary to provide records of prohibited individuals to the background check system
-          Close the Charleston loophole, so background checks are completed before a gun is sold
-          Close the Terror Gap to prevent suspected terrorists from easily buying guns
-          Close the many gaps in federal law that allow dangerous abusers to have access to guns

ü  Repeal The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” (PLCAA) granting broad immunity from liability to gun manufacturers and dealers in federal and state courts. 

ü  Invest In Dedicated Funding For Research About The Causes and Impact Of Gun Violence (removing the current congressional ban on related research by the Centers For Disease Control)
ü  Promote The Research and Use Of Smart Gun Technology
-          Support Do Not Stand Idly By campaign http://donotstandidlyby.org/
ü  Promote Safe Storage Practices To Prevent Unintentional Gun Deaths and Dangerously Easy Access To Guns
ü  Address Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines
ü  Enact Strong Laws Against Gun Trafficking and Stiffen Penalties For Straw Purchasers to prevent guns being diverted from legitimate commerce into the criminal marketplace

ü  Support Investment In Urban Violence Prevention Policies and Initiatives

ü  Support Investment In Mental Health Initiatives

ü  Support the No Notoriety Campaign that helps prevent copycat crimes and honors victims, not perpetrators http://nonotoriety.com/

Our Executive Leadership Team Members           
Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Founder and Co-Chair
Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin, Co-Chair
Rabbi Aaron Alexander
Rabbi Jill Jacobs
Rabbi Michael Latz

Contact Us
Eileen Soffer
National Coordinator

Feb 8, 2016

The Touching of Souls

The Touching of Souls

(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

There are few experiences that compare to convening a Beit Din (Rabbinic Court) to support someone formally affirming a Jewish identity. From the soul-sharing an emerging Jew pours out, the loving sanctity of profound questions and responses, the healing, Living Waters of a Mikvah... Thank You, God, for the touching of souls.

Feb 2, 2016


This is a sensational defense of Hillary Clinton, the President I will work to elect, a leader who deserves precisely...

Posted by Menachem Creditor on Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Success at the Kotel Comes at a Cost

Success at the Kotel Comes at a Cost

(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

The success of Women of the Wall Nashot HaKotel, Union for Reform Judaism, and The Masorti Movement In Israel-התנועה המסורתית בישראל, is unprecedented, Jewish history bending, ever so slightly, toward justice. 25 years of work. Victory.

It is crucial that we who celebrate this legal/symbolic/religious miracle in our Homeland also acknowledge the sense of loss being experienced by the founders of WOW, whose narrower focus birthed a movement that grew beyond their original vision.

The Kotel has grown.
We have grown.
Change is hard.

As Amos Oz once quipped: "The title “traitor” is indeed, in some cases, an honorary badge. I am not referring to the trivial traitors who sell some information for money. No. I refer to people who are regarded as traitors because they are ahead of their time. Sometimes, a traitor is simply a person who has the courage to change – in the eyes of those who do not change..."

The success of WOW to galvanize the vast majority of Diaspora Judaism to make the first legally encoded right of non-Orthodox Judaism at our holiest place is an affirmation of the painful truth: success does not come without a price. A price worth paying, to be sure. But our sisters' tears are like a broken glass at a wedding, worthy of our pause.

A pause. Not a full stop. There's work to be done.


Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Rabbi, Congregation Netivot Shalom
Chair, Rabbis Against Gun VIolence (#RAGV)

To join Rabbi Creditor's email list, send a blank email to thetisch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com!

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