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Jeff Erlanger in his electric wheelchair reading Torah from the pulpit

Of all the b’nei mitzvah I’ve led in my 57 years as a rabbi, the one that has remained most vivid in my memory is the bar mitzvah of Jeffrey Erlanger, the boy who gained national attention when he appeared as a guest on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and more recently in the film, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.”

I was the rabbi at Temple Beth El...

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Hand holding two candles in the darkness as if at a candlelight vigil

Hosted by the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, you're invited to join us for "Songs for All of Us: After Pittsburgh," a Facebook Live event featuring music, prayer, healing, and community following Saturday's attack on Tree of Life - Or L'Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh.  

What: A musical service of prayer and healing When: Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 8:30pm EDTWhere:'s Facebook pageWhy: To come together, as a...

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Teen wearing Converse and holding backpack against a brick wall

On Saturday night, I asked my 15-year-old son how he was doing. Was he scared? Overwhelmed?

He shared that he was sad for the people who died and their loved ones. That it was truly awful. “But Mom,” he said, “this is my normal. I was born after Columbine and 9/11. All the horrible things that your generation thought could never happen are just normal for my generation. Terrible people shoot Black people in churches, and LGBTQ people in nightclubs, and kids sitting in classrooms at school, and now Jews in synagogues.”

As I listened to him, my heart broke – but I couldn’t...

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Caution tape across greenery

The horrific and deadly attack on Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh marks one of the darkest days in American Jewish history. All of us are hurting as we try to come to terms with these tragic murders.

Writes Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, in his statement after today’s shootings,

The slaughter...

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Single candle burning in darkness

This acrostic piece that spells out “Tree of Life Pittsburgh Tree of Life" is, of course, a response to the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue this morning. It is meant to be used with two other prayers: “After a Deadly Anti-Semitic Attack” and "Racist Violence against Houses of Worship."

Prayer for the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh

Tree of Life, Revive our souls,...

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