As someone who is half-Filipino and half-Hispanic and grew up in a diverse Dallas, TX, neighborhood, I never gave much thought to the politics of skin color and how that affected me – at least not until I entered the Jewish community.
I don’t exactly fit the “typical” Dallas Jew profile because I am not white. I am proud of my heritage, but I never really thought much about it until I found myself surrounded by people very different than those I grew up with.
I started working at my synagogue in the summer of 2015, which provided me with a great deal of experience, both...Read More
Every year as Shavuot approaches, I think about my mother. That’s because her name was Ruth -- just like the book we Jews read on Shavuot.
On Shavuot, Mom used to make turos palacsinta, cottage cheese crepes. (Mom was a proud Hungarian Jew, not a Yiddish speaker, so she never called them blintzes.) As a kid, I hated cottage cheese, and, although the pancake part was good, I picked out every single golden raisin, since raisins were for eating separately and without a cheesy coating.
When I was little, she once...Read More
As we have done in the past, my wife, Vickie and I currently are spending five weeks in Germany speaking about the Shoah and reconciliation in several schools. In addition, I am teaching interfaith groups in synagogues and preaching in Christian churches, encouraging Germans to learn from the past to create a better future.
I was not surprised, therefore, when several people back home sent me a link to the feature story, “The New German Anti-Semitism,” which appeared in the May 21st edition of the...Read More
It’s been just over a week since the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) wrapped up its 2019 Consultation on Conscience, the Reform Jewish community’s flagship social justice event. Attended by more than 1,000 clergy, lay leaders, and other activists, this was the largest Consultation in history – and the lessons learned there will resonate within our community long past our four days in Washington, D.C., together.
Whether or not you were able to attend the...Read More
What is the most “popular” mitzvah?
Tikkun olam, repairing the world.
Because of what we learn in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 37a): “Whoever saves a single life is considered by scripture to have saved the whole world.’ Because we are created in God’s image.
This means everyone – not just Jews.
Like, for example, Alan Kurdi’s lifeless three-year-old body lying in the...Read More