Tag Archives: Pluralism

Jerusalem Israel Dome of the Rock

Hebrew College Expands Its Presence in Israel

Last night I attended a rally in support of Israel hosted by our local federation and Jewish community relations council. It was only a few weeks ago that the community gathered to mourn the death of four teenage boys — three Israelis and one Palestinian — who were brutally murdered. The rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas that have escalated since the recent murders have brought even more fear and… Read Article →


From the Trenches of the War of Ideas

We find ourselves at a time of growing dispute and polarization. The political discourse is increasingly toxic, and instead of engaging in a deeper exchange, disagreeable ideas are labeled as “outside the camp” which “cannot be tolerated.” With our back against the wall, it feels almost impossible to extend the other side the “benefit of the doubt” or see anything positive in the arguments coming from across the aisle. It… Read Article →

download (1)

Denomination, Shenomination: A Night of Learning with Rabbis From Across the Spectrum

On the last Friday night in March, I experienced an evening of true Jewish pluralism. I was one of about 100 young adults that gathered in the function hall of Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline to celebrate Shabbat and the program that brought us all together: Eser. We came from about 20 different local communities, and our families and current religious practices spanned from secular to Orthodox. We were excited… Read Article →


Hevruta: Shaping a New Era in Jewish Education

Hebrew College and The Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem are on the cutting edge of a new era in Jewish education, in which young Jews from North America and Israel will live, learn and serve together as true partners in shaping the future of the global Jewish community. Brining together the unique resources of each institution, we have developed an innovative gap-year program that will embody a new vision for… Read Article →

Community Blog Weaving Together of Two Worlds

A Weaving Together of Two Worlds

Rarely are the lost worlds of 19th century German Orthodoxy and Polish Hasidism brought together in one moment and in one space. This past Sunday, that rare event took place. I had the privilege of attending the installation of the new president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, the rabbinical school founded by Rabbi Avi Weiss that espouses Open Orthodoxy. Rabbi Asher Lopatin, the new president of YCT, a Rhodes Scholar and… Read Article →

Community Blog Contextual Learning Summer Teaching in Israel

Contextual Learning: Summer Teaching in Israel

I recently returned from a six-week stay in Jerusalem, where I had the pleasure of serving as a faculty member for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel. Founded in 1987, this unique program offers 26 incoming high-school seniors from the United States and Canada intensive study in various dimensions of Jewish life and thought, both ancient and modern. The North American fellows also have the opportunity for substantive interaction with… Read Article →


An Interfaith Vision for America

The remarkable confluence of President Obama’s second inaugural celebration and the national holiday marking Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday led me to think about the place of religious pluralism in America. I listened to President Obama’s inaugural address at noon, and as I was driving back to Boston from New York City, I listened again to MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech that was broadcast on the local radio. I… Read Article →


A Tale of Two Countries

I was privileged to lead the High Holy Day services again this year at the Oxford Jewish Community in Great Britain. The OJC is unique in Europe in having a single community with multiple “minyanim,” including a regular Orthodox, Masorti and Liberal Jewish service on Shabbat and Hagim. The community incorporates members from “town and gown” as well as students studying at the various Oxford colleges. A modern synagogue building… Read Article →