Rabbi Paul Kipnes
Rabbi Paul Kipnes is the spiritual leader of Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, CA. He serves as rabbinic dean at URJ Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, CA, and as vice president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Rabbi Kipnes and his wife Michelle November co-wrote Jewish Spiritual Parenting: Wisdom, Activities, Rituals and Prayers for Raising Children with Spiritual Balance and Emotional Wholeness (Jewish Lights). He also co-edited a national CCAR Journal issue on New Visions for Jewish Community.
Under his leadership, Congregation Or Ami has won national awards for social justice programming, for innovative worship programming, for outreach to interfaith families, and for engaging family education, and for best overall use of technology in a synagogue. Or Ami also wins the hearts of its families for its Henaynu caring community, which reaches out during times of need. He serves on the Rhea Hirsch School of Jewish Education clinical faculty at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. His writings can be viewed on his blog, Or Am I? and he tweets at @RabbiKip.
The coronavirus-compelled communal self-quarantine felt vaguely familiar: Here we are bamidbar (back in the wilderness), reliving Numbers, when Miriam becomes infected with a scaly, white, and highly contagious skin condition. But we’ve gotten through it before, and we will now, too.
On my trip to Disneyland, I missed Papa intensely as we rode through the brightly colored, musical attraction, but our seventh graders filled the boat with so much singing and laughing that made it uplifting in a way that Papa would have appreciated.