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Home Authors Articles by Rabbi Robin Podolsky

Rabbi Robin Podolsky

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Rabbi Robin Podolsky teaches Jewish Thought at California State University at Long Beach and serves as affiliated clergy at Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock. She strives to live and teach a Judaism that is rich with answers and productive questions for people who seek meaning, justice, and kindness in a complex world. She Rabbi Podolsky has published articles in the Journal of Jewish Ethics, the Pluralist, Response, and European Judaism.

Teshuvah in a Plague

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Only teshuvah that comes from a place of trust in God’s forgiveness, respect for one’s own ability to change, and the renewed strength we get from accepting a friend’s love can truly transform.

Abolitionist Rabbis: Their Urgent Lessons for Today

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The halakhist and the reformer both returned to narrative and in it they found a new understanding.

JVS and AFSCME Local 800 Reach A Fair Agreement

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The agreement offers reasonable cost of living increases, strong benefits and much-needed job protections for employees.

Purim: A Celebration of Difference and a Call to Action

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It comes as no surprise that so many American Jews have turned to immigration justice activism.

This Year’s Hannukah: Special Re-Dedication

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One lesson we learn from the Maccabees is that victories do not guarantee their perpetuation.

JVS, Do The Right Thing And Fairly Compensate Your Workers

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JVS SoCal’s stance regarding its employees seems at odds with its mission.

The Jewish – And Black Lives Matter – Case for Medicare for All

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Our current lack of a national health plan puts persons of color and low-income people at particular risk.

Fulfilling A Mitzvah in Real Time

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My friend Debra has a mop of springy black curls, a grin that promises good trouble and the Kaddish prayer tattooed across her collarbone....

When Torah and Politics Align

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All Jews need to unite with people of color to defeat this common enemy. Our Torah and our survival demand it.

Simchat Torah: The Joy and the Responsibility

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You are reading at Simchat Torah time, the joyful high point of the High Holy Days journey. I am writing on the day after...

Women Fleeing Domestic Violence

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“You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress them, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not abase any widow...

Kinah for Tisha b’Av 5779

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We ask Eikhah? We ask how and why and by whom? For the children who cannot understand why their parents won’t come in the night...

Message to Immigrants: ‘You Aren’t Alone’

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The rideshare dropped me off 15 minutes early at the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles. Already, there were hundreds of people standing...

This Purim, Stand With All Who Stood With Us

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Our interfaith press conference and vigil at the Islamic Center of Southern California on March 15 felt something like returning home. We were responding...

Bibi’s Disgraceful Act Tarnishes All Jews

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I have a tip for Israeli prime ministers: When not even the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC)...

Why I’m Angry About Trump’s Speech

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The president of the United States laced this year’s State of the Union with references to anti-Semitism. He invited a Holocaust survivor of Dachau...

Why I Will Walk With the Women’s March

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For all the anti-Semitism-based controversy roiling the Women’s March, we in Los Angeles who took part last year should have no crisis of conscience...
President Trump, Paris, (Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press), Jewish Journal, columnists Rabbi Robin Podolsky

Election: Jews Favor Israel, Oppose Trump

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American Jews headed to the polls on Nov. 6 spurred by concern over health care, gun violence and the predatory glances that Republican politicians...

Three Gatherings After a Massacre

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Shabbat was shattered with the news that 11 Jews were murdered in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. I don’t know why I...

From Fear to Joy

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By During Sukkot — zman simchateinu — everything we acknowledged with awe and trepidation during the Days of Awe, we now celebrate in joy. On...

Widows, Orphans, and Strangers at the Border

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“You will not undermine the justice due to a stranger or an orphan and you will not seize the widow’s garment as collateral.” Deuteronomy,...

Chariot of Fire, March for Our Lives

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Last Shabbat was Shabbat haGadol, the Great Shabbat, the last one before Pesach. It was also the occasion for another ritual, that national gathering...

Vayishlach: Let’s Talk About Dinah, Consent, and Justice

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Genesis/Bereishit ch. 34: "וַתֵּצֵ֤א דִינָה֙ בַּת־לֵאָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר יָלְדָ֖ה לְיַעֲקֹ֑ב לִרְא֖וֹת בִּבְנ֥וֹת הָאָֽרֶץ׃ Dinah, daughter of Leah, borne to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of...

Me Too and Us

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On the anniversary of that election which made a proud sexual predator the President of the United States, a furious chorus of me-too continues...

Water, Blessing, and Puerto Rico

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I’m back, and here’s my Yom Kippur sermon—sadly, still relevant. I’ve been thinking about water a lot this Yom Tov season—and not just because a...

Parashat Ekev: To walk in God’s ways

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“…to walk in all (God’s) ways…”(Devarim 10:12) These are the ways of the Holy Blessed One: “HaShem, HaShem, God of compassion, grace, forbearance and...

Our Friends’ Homes Might Be Torn Down

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So I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself because of our latest heat wave. Carrying laundry in the heat on the way from my...

Sumud Freedom Camp: A Vision of Jubilee

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This spring, along with over 130 diaspora Jews, I traveled to Israel/Palestine to work with Palestinian and Israeli non-violent activists who oppose the occupation...

Where Are the Nonviolent Palestinian Activists? Actually, They’re Not Hard to Find

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Chevre, I’m back from a life-changing trip to the Holy Land, with a lot to tell you. Here, before we step into Shavuot, is...

A Roof, A Bed, and A Table

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Didn’t it feel good to see the rain come down this winter, healing our drought, filling our reservoirs and river, bringing the tangy scent...
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