Tag Archives: Jewish Leaders

Aaron Lichtenstein

A Memory of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, z”l

I have a very poignant memory of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, a great rabbinic leader of modern Orthodoxy, who passed away today in Israel. I had the privilege of studying with Rav Lichtenstein for a brief period in Jerusalem as part of my rabbinical school studies, but my favorite memory of him came from an occurrence a few years earlier. I was an undergraduate at Yeshiva University in Manhattan. Late one… Read Article →


Gates of Tears

In this week’s parsha, we are deep in a difficult family story. Yitzhak and Rivka struggle to conceive and after she conceives, the struggle continues in her womb. It gets no simpler once their sons are born. Esav emerges first, hairy and red, followed closely by Yaakov, clinging tightly to Esav’s heel. The boys are quickly caught up in a multigenerational cycle of favoritism and deception. When Yitzhak has grown… Read Article →


Presidential Inauguration

Since becoming president of Hebrew College, just over six years ago, I had participated in three presidential inaugurations.  Andover Newton Theological School’s was my fourth. The first three celebrated the inaugurations of new presidents at three very different institutions of higher learning. Each president, however, was a committed and active Jew. The fourth one, this past Sunday, October 5, 2014, was for me a completely new experience, and the only one… Read Article →


Leaders in Adult Learning (LAL) Fellowship Orientation

On June 12, the inaugural cohort of the two-year Leaders in Adult Learning fellowship gathered for an orientation with Rabbi Daniel Lehmann, Rabbi Marcia Plumb, Bernice Lerner and Marjorie Freiman. This was the first gathering for the entire cohort, so the fellows shared their personal objectives as well as their plans for translating their learning from the fellowship into action in their home communities during the second year. Plumb led… Read Article →


Shabbat Anecdote

Tonight was a very special night for all of the Havayah participants. The Kabbalat Shabbat service was very powerful and helped me connect more with the kids from Haifa and Dnepropetrovsk. There was one moment that really stood out in my mind and I will take with me back to Boston. After saying the Amidah, all of the kids put their arms around each other while singing Oseh Shalom. When… Read Article →


Apologies for the Delay

Hello loyal followers, I apologize for our radio silence. The past two days have been quite a whirlwind, and I am just now finding a few moments to sit down and detail what we’ve been doing. Next blogpost up you will get a participant perspective. The Travel Well, after seven hours at Logan, we got out of Boston. While I don’t fully understand why we needed to wait, the pilot… Read Article →


Leadership and Confrontation: Lessons From Moses and God

It seems every few weeks a new round of headlines cover the latest eruption within the American Jewish community over Israel, the most recent including a panel-turned-spectacle at the 92nd Street Y and communal storms over policies delineating who should and shouldn’t be allowed to speak at Hillels and JCCs. While these moments of heat and escalation capture the most press and attention, they obscure and distract us from at… Read Article →


Why Ukraine?

When I tell folks I am leaving the country on Saturday, and explain where I’m headed, they inevitably ask: “Why Ukraine?” I could choose to launch into a history lesson of the relationship between Boston and Dnepropetrovsk, of the Jewish pioneers from the area who made this burgeoning community a priority for their time and resources. I could go into our partnership with Haifa to help build stronger relationships between… Read Article →

Pope Francis

Jethro and Pope Francis: Models of Interreligious Engagement

Along with many others from across the diverse religious world, Pope Francis has captivated me. In a very short period of time, he has become a transformational figure among global religious leaders. Through his choice of the name Francis, his eschewing the trappings of Vatican wealth and his focus on serving the poor and marginalized, the new pope has begun to redirect the enormous spiritual energies and resources of the… Read Article →

Community Blog Anyone Can Lead 3

Anyone Can Lead

You might recall the refrain of Auguste Gusteau, the renowned chef of the animated film “Ratatouille”: “Anyone can cook.” As one who learned his way around the kitchen after tiring of stir-fry and rice pilaf, I believe Gusteau was right. But in this season in which we celebrate Moses’ ascent from speech-impaired shepherd of Midian to the leader of the Hebrew nation, I find myself pondering a more important question:… Read Article →