Rabbi Michael Rothbaum serves as rabbi of Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton, Massachusetts. A distinguished and award-winning religious leader, speaker, and writer, Rabbi Mike is devoted to creating and nurturing vibrant learning communities, and sharing his love of Torah and commitment to justice in formal and informal settings.
In this Week’s Torah Portion – Parashat Re’eh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17) – Moses continues speaking to the people of Israel right before he passes away and before they cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land. Moses asks them to recite certain blessings and curses on Mount Grizzim and Mount Ebal after they enter Israel. He demands that they destroy all remnants of idolatry from the Promised Land and asks them to choose a city which will host the Holy Temple. The Parasha also discusses false prophets, kashrut, the sabbatical year and charity. Our discussion focuses on economic justice in the parsha.
Rory Katz is the brand new rabbi of Congregation Chevrei Tzedek of Baltimore. She received her ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary this past May, where she also completed two 400-hour units of training in Clinical Pastoral Care. Prior to becoming a rabbi, she worked as a case manager in a Head Start preschool program on the South Side of Chicago, as a volunteer coordinator in North Philadelphia. She is excited to be building a new home for herself in Baltimore, so feel free to contact her with your favorite spots in the city!
In this Week’s Torah Portion – Parashat Ekev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25) – Moses continues his address to the people of Israel, promising them that they will prosper in the land of Israel if they obey God’s commandments. He reminds them of their sins, but stresses God’s forgiveness. Moses describes the land of Israel to the people, demands that they destroy the idols of its former dwellers, and warns them of thinking that their power and might, rather than the lord, have gotten them their wealth. Our discussion focuses on the concept of punishment and reward, on the importance of destroying idols and on the Land’s richness.
Rabbi Elad-Appelbaum is the founder and spiritual leader of Kehilat Zion of Jerusalem and co-founder of the seminary for Israeli rabbis of Hamidrasha and the Hartman Institute. Rabbi Elad-Appelbaum’s works to advance a Jewish spiritual and ethical renaissance.
We discuss parshat Shelach, the story of the spies and the mitzvah of Tzitzit.
Rabbi Marc Philippe received smicha from Yeshiva Toras Israel in Jerusalem, also known as Diaspora Yeshiva. He has been a citizen of the world since childhood, having grown up on four continents. Beyond his role as Temple Emanu-El’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Philippe is a cantor, musician, composer, and conductor. Studying at Paris’ prestigious Ecole Normale de Musique, he earned a Masters degree and later received a second degree at the Conservatoire Maurice Ravel. During the same period, he was a student at the Institutions Talmudiques Yeshiva Yad Mordechai. Rabbi Philippe honed his cantorial skills as a conductor at the Consistoire Israelite de Paris. He then served the Choeur et Orchestre Philharmonique Européen, Orchestre Paris Pops and the Orchestre de I’lle de la Cite in various professional capacities.
Our parsha is bechokotai. In this parsha God promises that if the people of Israel will keep His commandments, they will enjoy prosperity and be secure on their land. But He also is warning from persecution and exile if the people abandon the covenant with God.
Rabbi Finkelstein has been the spiritual leader of Beit Tikvah of Ottawa (formerly Beth Shalom West) since August 1991. Before that he served as Rabbi in Kingston, Ontario for 12 years. Rabbi Finkelstein is the Dean of Judaic Studies at the Ottawa Jewish Community School. He was the Judaic Studies Principal at Yitzhak Rabin High School from 1995-2015.
In Parshat Behar communicates to the laws of the Sabbatical year: in a seventh year, work on the land should cease, and its produce becomes free for the taking for all.Seven Sabbatical cycles are followed by the Jubilee year, on which work on the land ceases, all servants are set free, and revert to their original owners (only in the holy land).
Rabbi Jeffrey Weill has been the rabbi of Ezra Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation (Illinois) since July 2012. Rabbi Weill was an advocacy and community relations specialist for Jewish organizations, including the Jewish United Fund-Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and the American Jewish Committee.
Parshat Kedoshim is about holiness. How does one become holy? According to our parsha, it is by keeping the prohibition against idolatry, the mitzvah of charity, the principle of equality before the law, Shabbat, sexual morality, honesty in business, and more.
But why be holy? Rabbi Well attempted to answer this question.
Rabbi David Wolkenfeld is the rabbi of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago’s Lakeview neighbourhood. He grew up in Manhattan, has a B.A. in History from Harvard University and has completed graduate coursework in Medieval Jewish History at Yeshiva University. He studied at Yeshivat Hamivtar in Efrat and also at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shvut. He has semikhah (rabbinic ordination) from Rabbi Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg, and Rabbi She’ar Yashuv Kohen in Israel, and from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York.
In parshat Trumah the people of Israel are called upon to contribute to the building of the temple – gold, silver, copper, dyed wool, animal skins, and more. On Mount Sinai, Moses is given detailed instructions on how to construct this Temple. In the Sanctuary’s inner chamber, was the ark, containing the tablets with the Ten Commandments. In the outer chamber stood the seven-branched menorah. Outside the sanctuary stood the copper-plated altar.
Rabbi Katie Mizrahi is the spiritual leader of Or Shalom in san Francisco. Rabbi Mizrahi was ordained through the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2005. Previously, she studied for several years in Jerusalem, while devoting herself to human rights projects and peace education. Rabbi Katie grew up in Boulder, Colorado. She came to the Bay Area as a undergraduate at Stanford, where she majored in philosophy and religious studies, and first felt the call of the rabbinate.
This week’s Torah portion — Parashat Vayishlach (Genesis 32:3-36:43) — features Jacob’s meeting with Esau, his wrestling with an angel, the defiling of Dinah, the death of Isaac and Rachel, and the renaming of Jacob. We begin our conversation in trying to understand what’s wrong with the name Jacob – and why was a need for change.
Jeremy Rosen, is an orthodox rabbi, born in Manchester. Studied philosophy at Cambridge University in England and Be’er Yaakov and Mir yeshivot in Israel where he received Semicha. He has served as a community rabbi of orthodox congregations in Scotland and England. He was Principal of Carmel College in Oxfordshire, Professor and Chairman of the Faculty for Comparative Religion Wilrijk Belgium and Rabbi and Director of the YAKAR Educational Foundation in London. He retired to New York where he is the rabbi of the Persian Jewish community in Manhattan and lectures at the JCC of Manhattan.
This week’s Torah portion — Parashat Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9) — tells us the fascinating story of Jacob and Esau and of the selling of Esau’s birthright to Jacob. Our discussion focuses on good guys, bad guys and the many faces of the Torah.
Rabbi Adam Roffman serves Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas Texas. He is a graduate of Amherst College with a degree in Political Science, and Circle in the Square Theatre School with a certificate in Musical Theatre Performance. He began his rabbinic education at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Rabbi Roffman graduated with a Masters in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary where he was awarded the The Rabbi Max Gelb Memorial Prize in Talmud and the Israel H. Levinthal Prize in Homiletics.
This week’s Torah portion —Parashat Vayera (Genesis 18:1-22:24) — features several of the most well-known stories in the Bible, including the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the birth of Isaac, the banishment of Hagar and Ishmael, and the binding of Issac. Our discussion focuses on angels and their role in the world.
Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker has served as a rabbi at Mount Zion since 1997. When he and Cantor Spilker came to the congregation, he led adult and family education and youth activities for four years. In 2001, he was selected as senior rabbi. Rabbi Spilker graduated magna cum laude with an A.B. in Religious Studies from Duke University in 1991 and was ordained as a rabbi with a Masters of Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City in 1997. He and Cantor Spilker have three children.
In the Shabbat of Sukkot we read how Moses requests to be shown G‑d’s glory. G‑d tells Moses to carve new tablets for the Ten Commandments. G‑d seals a covenant with Moses. He instructs the people to destroy all vestiges of idolatry from the land.The Jews are commanded to observe the three festivals — including Sukkot, “the festival of the ingathering, at the turn of the year.” The maftir, from the Book of Numbers, discusses the public offerings brought in the Temple on this day of Sukkot.
Ariana Silverman is the Rabbi of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, the last freestanding synagogue in the City of Detroit. Raised in Chicago, she received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, her ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program. She lives in Detroit with her family.
This Week’s Torah portion – Parashat Matot-Masei (Numbers 30:2-36:13) – begins with Moses presenting the heads of the tribes with rules concerning the annulment of vows. War is waged against Midian and the Torah lists the different spoils Israel took hold of in their victory and describes how they are distributed. The tribes of Gad, Reuben and half of Menashe ask Moses for the territory East of the Jordan as their portion of the promised land, and Moses eventually agrees on the condition that they first help conquering the west part West of the Jordan. The boundaries of the Promised Land are stated, and cities of refuge are designated as havens for people who commit inadvertent murder. The portion ends with the story of the daughters of Tzelafchad marrying men of their own tribe (Menashe) in order to keep the estate which they inherited from their father within their own tribe. Our conversation focuses on the two and a half tribes’ request for land and on what this episode could teach us about conflict resolution.
Rabbi Freirich received rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1999. Since becoming a rabbi, he has served Jews of all ages at Hillel organizations on college campuses in Tucson and Cleveland, at Jewish homes for the aged, at a vibrant Reform congregation named Temple Bat Yam in the mountains of South Lake Tahoe, and most recently, at the premier Reform synagogue of the Carolinas, Temple Beth El in Charlotte.
This Week’s Torah portion – Parashat Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9) – features the famous story of the prophet Bilaam, who was sent by the Moabite king Balak to curse the people of Israel. On his way, Bilaam is berated by his Donkey who sees an angel of God blocking the road. Bilaam tries to curse the people of Israel three times (from three different vantage points) and each time ends up blessing them. He then continues to prophesize on the end of days and the coming of the Messiah. Our discussion tries to examine Bilaam’s odd story, its message, and its special status in Judaism.
Born and raised in Panama City, Panama Rabbi DavidCohen–Henriquez brings a diverse, multicultural perspective and passion for Jewish education and spiritual guidance. Rabbi David was ordained at the Hebrew College Rabbinical School, focused on a multi-denominational approach to Judaism. He has served in communities in New Hampshire, Panama and Los Angeles, where he served at the Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel. He currently serves in the North Shore of Massachusetts, as Rabbi at Temple Sinai as well as being the resident Rabbi at the Eptstein Hillel School.
The rabbi’s vision is to create engaging opportunities for Jews of all venues to express the values of Judaism in every area of their lives, drawing upon from the natural world and the wisdom of the Torah and our conversation with our tradition. Currently kicking off a Teen Beit Midrash, a multi denominational, pluralistic, approach to Torah and tradition. With sources from the Bible to Midrash, from Yiddish literature to the Hasidic tradition, modern Israeli and American Jewish authors. Rabbi David is dedicated to fostering a creative, participatory, and
genuine embrace of Jewish religious learning and living.
This week’s torah portion- Parashat Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1)- Features the death of Aaron and Miriam, brother and sister of Moses, and the famous story of Moses striking the stone.
After 40 years of wandering in the desert, the people of Israel arrive at the wilderness of Zin, where Miriam dies and gets buried. As the people become thirsty God tells Moses to order a rock to yield water. After Moses strikes the rock twice, God punishes him by denying him entrance to the land of Israel. Aaron dies at and is succeeded by his son Elazar who becomes the new High Priest. After the people speak against God and Moses, snakes attack the Israelite camp. God tells Moses to put a brass serpent on a high pole, and says that whoever will gaze at it will be healed. Moses subsequently leads the people in battles against the Emorite kings Sichon and Og and conquers their lands, which lie east of the river Jordan.
This week’s Torah Portion – Parashat Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32) – tells the dramatic story of a mutiny incited by Korach against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Korach is joined by Datan and Aviram as well as by 250 distinguished members of the community who offer incense to prove they are worthy of the priesthood. The earth opens up and swallows the mutineers, and a fire kills the incense offerers. Aaron subsequently stops a plague by offering incense of his own and his staff then brings forth almonds, proving that his designation as high priest is divinely ordained. Our discussion focuses on the purge of Korach’s followers and on Moses and Aaron’s reaction to the episode.
Our guest this week is rabbi Benji Stanley, the Rabbi of Westminster Synagogue, an independent shul in the middle of London. He is passionate about getting stuck into texts and has taught and helped to build the Limmud Bet Midrash, Open Talmud Project, Kehilat Kentish, and Willesden Minyan. He is married to Rabbi Leah Jordan.
This week’s Torah Portion- Parashat Shelach (Numbers 13:1- 15:41)- features the famous story of the twelve spies sent to examine the land of Canaan. It tells about how the people of Israel cry and grumble against Moses and Aaron, asking to go back to Egypt, and about God’s declaration that they will spend 40 years in the wilderness. The parasha ends with a set of commandments concerning offerings to God and with a curious story about a man who is stoned for picking up sticks on Shabbat. Our discussion focuses on the character of Joshua as a model for leadership development and as an example of our ability to change and improve ourselves.
Rabbi JackRomberg has served the congregation of Temple Israel in Tallahassee since July of 2001. Being a rabbi is his second career. Rabbi Romberg led his family’s furniture manufacturing business for almost three 18 years. He entered Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion at age 42. He was ordained in NYC in May of 2001. In Tallahassee Rabbi Romberg has led many programs and initiatives. He is currently serving as the chair of The Village Square, a nationally recognized organization that creates civil conversations, both politically and religiously. One program he created is Faith, Food and Friday, a monthly discussion with a panel of 5 clergy on current issues. His biggest pride, however, is in his 3 grandchildren ages 9, 7 and 4. And other than Judaism, his greatest passion is being a Philadelphia sports fan, especially of the Eagles and Phillies.
This week’s Torah Portion – Parashat Beha’alotcha (Numbers 8:1-12:15) – begins with the lighting of the menorah and then goes on to describe the cleansing of the Levites and the first celebration of Passover in the desert. The Torah subsequently describes a series of bitter complaints made by the people of Israel about life in the desert, and the portion concludes with Moses’ sister Miriam speaking slander about Moses to their brother Aaron and getting punished for it with a terrible skin disease. Our discussion focuses on the family of Moses and on Miriam’s curious punishment.
Today we discuss Parshat Bamidbar with Rabbi Yehuda Ferris, of Chabad in Berkeley, California.
This Week’s Torah Portion – Parashat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20) – is the first portion read from the book of Numbers. The Parasha tells us about an elaborate census of the tribes of Israel conducted by Moses in the desert and continues to discuss the priests’ ceremonial duties. Our discussion focuses on the meaning behind the counting of the people of Israel and on their long, gruelling transformation from slaves to a nation of priests.
Rabbi Elyssa Joy Austerklein serves as senior rabbi of Beth El Congregation in Akron, Ohio. She is a graduate of Brandeis University, BU School of Theology, and the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. She is an artist, yogi, Rabbis Without Borders Fellow, and was named one of America’s 33 most inspiring rabbis of 2015 by The Forward. She is a devoted wife and mother.
We read two parshas this week. Parashat Acharei Mot (Leviticus 16:1-18:30) – describes the Tabernacle ceremony of the Day of Atonement, establishes general rules for sacrifice and sanctuary, and lays down specific laws about sexual relationships. Our discussion focuses on the curious practice of sending a goat to ‘Azazel’ on Yom Kippur as part of the process of atonement.
Parashat Kedoshim (Leviticus 19:1- 20:27)- features God telling Moses to give the people of Israel a set of rules which are meant to help them live a life of holiness. These rules include variations on several of the ten commanments, as well as different laws concerning basic ethical behavior (prohibitions on cheating, stealing and false oaths), harvest, religious rituals, and sexual conduct.
Our guest this week is Rabbi Alan W. Bright of Shaare Zedek Congregation in Montreal. He completed his education doing Jewish Studies from London School of Jewish Studies (London) and Concordia University. He was also at the Yemin Orde and became an active member of this Youth Village.
This week’s double parashah – Parashat Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus 12:1-15:33) – features rules concerning the purity and impurity of women and the horrible disease of leprosy. Our discussion focuses on the priests’ curious attitude toward people inflicted with skin disease.
Rabbi Claudio Kupchik became the Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth El of Cedarhurst in 2017.
Kupchik was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While completing medical studies at the University of Buenos Aires Medical School, he determined that Jewish studies and serving the Jewish people was truly his calling and his first love. He studied at the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires, the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical School in Latin America, where he was ordained in 1990. Upon coming to the US, he continued his studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in NY achieving an MA in Talmud and Rabbinics. Rabbi Kupchik resides in Woodmere with his wife Ann-Rebecca Laschever. They have two boys, Jacob and Simon.
In parshat Shemini: Following the seven days of their inauguration, Aaron and his sons begin to officiate as kohanim (priests). Aaron’s two elder sons, Nadav and Avihu, offer a “strange fire before G‑d” and die. Aaron is silent in face of his tragedy. G‑d commands the kosher laws, identifying the animal species permissible and forbidden for consumption. Also in Shemini are some of the laws of ritual purity.
Rabbi David Kay was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTSA) in 2002, where he also received a Master of Arts degree in education. Rabbi Kay serves Congregation Ohev Shalom in Maitland, FL. Founded in 1918, Ohev Shalom is central Florida’s original and oldest continuing Jewish congregation. He also serves on the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando. He is a member of the Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Council of Clergy and the Executive Committee of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida, for which he coordinates Orlando’s annual interfaith celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Our discussion focuses on the Torah reading for Passover.
David Kosak of Congregation Neveh Shalom in Portland Oregon is a 30th generation rabbi, but his path to the rabbinate had its own plot twists. His first career as a chef and entrepreneur brought him out West from his native New York, where he had earned a BA in Philosophy from NYU. His formal education includes an MA in Rabbinics from the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism). David pursued advanced studies at Mechon Schechter, Hebrew University, Yakar Torah Center for Tradition and Creativity, and the Hartman Institute, all in Jerusalem. He received his Rabbinic Ordination in 2006 from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Bel Air, California. His post-ordination studies include a stint as a STAR fellow and advanced courses on areas of Jewish law such as Gittin (Jewish divorce) and industrial kashrut.
This Week’s Torah Portion – Parashat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35) – begins with the census of the people of Israel and with further instructions concerning the Tabernacle and the Shabbat. The portion then proceeds to tell the story of the Golden Calf, Moses’ plea to god, the splitting of the Tablets into two, and the giving of the second tablets. Our discussion focuses, among other things, on the reason behind the people of Israel’s discontent and on the possible role of Moses’ leadership in their sin.
Rabbi Fred Morgan AM has lived in the United States, England and Australia. He was Lecturer in the Religions of India at the University of Bristol before entering the Leo Baeck College, London, where he received rabbinic s’mikhah in 1984. He has served congregations in Britain, Hungary and Australasia. In 2013, he was made Emeritus at Temple Beth Israel in Melbourne, Australia’s flagship Progressive synagogue, after 16 years as Senior Rabbi. Since then Rabbi Morgan has been Professorial Fellow at the Australian Catholic University, coordinator of the Grass Roots Dialogue Project for the Council of Christians and Jews in Victoria, and Movement Rabbi for the Union for Progressive Judaism in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. He has lectured and published extensively on Jewish and interfaith themes. In 2014 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to the Jewish Community and interfaith dialogue. He is married to Sue and they have three children and a grandchild.
This week’s Torah Portion – Parashat Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10) – continues giving us the instructions concerning the tabernacle, focusing on the role of the priesthood. Our discussion focuses on the relation between the ‘Ner Tamid’ – the perpetual light of the Temple – and the elaborate description of the clothing of the priests.
Rabbi Jason Strauss is the rabbi of Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe in Brighton, MA and a Judaic Studies teacher at Maimonides School in Brookline, MA.
Rabbi Strauss studied for rabbinical ordination at Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He completed his masters degree in education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2013 and his bachelors degree in engineering at Columbia University in 2011. Before that, he spent a year studying at Yeshivat Shaalvim in Israel.
This week’s Torah portion – Parashat Terumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19) – is largely dedicated to the detailed instructions for the building of the holy Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. Our discussion focuses on the somewhat confusing idea of the divine command to be voluntary generous.
Rabbi Amy Joy Smallwas is the Senior Rabbi of Ohavi Zedek Synagogue of Burlington, Vermont from 2016. Previously, Rabbi Small worked in Jewish innovation by creating and directing Deborah’s Palm Center for Jewish Learning & Experiences in Morristown, New Jersey. Through Deborah’s Palm Center, Rabbi Small taught and facilitated Jewish experiences for adults, emphasizing questions from our everyday lives, explored through Jewish texts and ideas.
Rabbi Small has served congregations in New Jersey, Michigan and Indiana. She is a past president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, where she served on the board for many years. She is a fellow of Rabbis Without Borders and a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute, a Storahtelling Maven, and was awarded a Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa, from RRC in 2012.
This week’s Torah portion – Parashat Bo(Exodus 10:1-13:16) – features the final three plagues of Egypt, the People of Israel’s departure from Egypt, and the first Passover celebration. Our discussion focuses on the idea of maintaining positivity and recognizing the point of view of the other in our struggle for Justice.
Parashat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26) is the final portion of the book of Genesis. The portion describes the final days of Jacob, the blessing given to his sons, Jacob’s death and burial, and the death of Joseph.
Our guest this week is Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein, Co-Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shvut. Rabbi Lichtenstein, son of Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, made Aliyah with his family in 1971 from New York. From 1979-1985, he studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion while serving in the IDF Armoured Corps. He received Semicha from the Israeli Rabbinate and a degree in English Literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Rabbi Lichtenstein has been a Ram in Yeshivat Har Etzion since 1992. While on sabbatical in Cleveland during the 97 and 98 academic years, he served as Rosh Kollel of the Torat Tzion Kollel. He also taught at Bruria, an Advanced Program for Women in Jerusalem from 1992-1997. Rabbi Lichtenstein is the author of Moses: Envoy of God, Envoy of His People and Netivei Nevua, an analysis of the haftarot.
This week’s Torah portion – Parashat Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32) – features the famous story of Noah’s ark and of the great flood, as well as the story of the Tower of Babel. Our talk focuses on Noah as the resolution of the basic problem of human existence in Nature, a theme that runs like a thread through Parshat Bereshit.
Our guest for Rosh Hashanah is Rabbi Steven Wernick, Chief Executive Officer of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ). Rabbi Wernick was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary. After ordination, he served as the Associate Rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and more recently as the senior rabbi at Adath Israel in suburban Philadelphia. He also served as the president of Mid Atlantic Regional Rabbinical Assembly. Rabbi Wernick has been named one of Newsweek’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America and The Forward’s List of 50 Influential Jewish Leaders.
Our talk focuses on the powerful Unetanneh Tokef prayer and on the disturbing idea of our fates being out of our control.
Our past Rosh Hashanah talks:
Rabbi Michael Schudrich on the element of renewal and self-improvement in the holiday and in the story of the Jewish tradition
Our guest this week is Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky, leader of the Anshe Chessed congregation in Manhattan. Rabbi Kalmanofsky was ordained in 1997 by The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he was a Wexner Graduate Fellow, and joined Anshe Chessed in 2001. He regularly publishes essays on Jewish thought and practice, and he serves on the Conservative movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards.
Parashat Nitzavim (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20) – begins with Moses gathering the people of Israel to enter them into a covenant with God. Moses then warns of the great desolation that will befall them if they stray from the covenant, but he assures them that if they repent God will bring them back together again from the ends of the world. Our discussion focuses on the idea of acknowledging our human imperfection and choosing life.