In the United States, the only widely celebrated holiday commemorating Black American rights is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. But as the U.S. reckons with its history of systemic racism, particularly in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, many have begun learning about the lesser-known but incredibly important holiday of Juneteenth, which we observe on June 19: the day commemorating the legal freedom of enslaved Black Americans.
For many white observers, the protests calling for an end to police violence and Black liberation that erupted over the weekend may have appeared sudden. Yes, they came directly after the killing of George Floyd, but they were anything but sudden. The relatively swift decision to charge the officer who killed George Floyd in Minneapolis stands in stark contrast to the delayed (to put it mildly) investigation that few if any prior deaths of Black and Brown people at the hands of police or...Read More
As a Zionist rabbi, I believe this is the moment for a universal declaration of support for the fact that Black Lives Matter. For me, the issue is simple: As a Jew, and as a human being, I support the essential right of all human beings to breathe and to live. That is fundamental to what it means to be a person.
Early Zionists set out to create a utopian and exemplary society. Its socialist and egalitarian nature called for equal treatment among genders, races, and ethnicities. Today’s Israeli society is far from achieving its utopian ideals, but our job as Zionists, since the...Read More
What would happen if poor and low-wealth people across the United States banded together to act for change? That’s the idea behind the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
This week, Rev. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, joined Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, for a Facebook Live conversation about how faith communities in the U.S. are...Read More
Since the shelter-in-place orders began in March, religious institutions scrambled to move their programs and worship to a virtual space. While some congregations around the country already took advantage of streaming services to offer a hybrid worship of face-to-face and online prayer, most did not. This presented quite a few challenges.
The obvious hurdle concerned the technical aspects: what virtual platform to use, what audio/visual equipment to purchase, and so on. But the more difficult task involved how to create a spiritual communal worship experience while everyone...Read More