With the recent news that United States special forces have killed Osama bin Laden, the Jewish and larger community have responded with a diverse range of commentary. Our Jewish tradition cautions us around celebrating the death of any human being, including our enemies. At the same time there is a sense of relief and justice, given that Osama bin Laden was responsible for the deaths of so many people around the world of all backgrounds, and thousands at the World Trade Center on Sep. 11, 2001. His death also raises a complex and varied range of thoughts and emotions in the United States and around the world.
Watch President Obama announce the death of Osama bin Laden
Jewish Council on Public Affairs Response
JTA coverage of “Jewish Organizational Statements”
JTA Article on "How Jews Should Respond" NPR article on reaction in the Arab world
Response Lesson to be used to understand the Jewish Response to the death of Osama bin Laden by Robyn Faintich, JewishGPS “The Death of Osama bin Laden” A source sheet to help guide class discussion
Rabbi Goldie Milgram's Philadelphia Voice Blog
Rabbi Brant Rosen's Blog
Thomas Friedman, NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/opinion/04friedman.html?_r=1&ref=thomaslfriedman
"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr. (http://www.salsa.net/peace/conv/8weekconv4-2.html)
A series of deadly tornadoes swept across the Southeast United States in April, and again in May, and intense rains have contributed to the flooding of the Mississipi at the same time. Below are organizations we recommend for tornado relief efforts:
JRF invites our Midwestern Region's congregants to join us for our annual celebration! Register today
The event will be Thursday June 23rd at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois and will include dinner and a concert with k.d.lang. (www.ravinia.org)
This year’s theme will be Ohel: Together Under One Tent. We want to reinforce the message that Reconstructionism remains an open tent for all who value progressive Judaism. As part of the event, we will honor individuals from each participating congregation who have contributed to creating a "Big Tent" for Judaism or securing the ohel/tent that is your congregation. This might mean helping the congregation through an important transition, securing it financially, or creating an ohel that is both open and inviting. The program will include a special tribute to the honorees of each congregation.
Alan Rubin and Neal Rubin, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, IL
Fred Andes, Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Synagogue, Nothrbrook, IL
Leah Kamionkowski, Kol Halev, Cleveland, OH
6:00pm- Dinner and program under the tent
8:00pm- k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang, with special guest The Belle Brigade, in the pavillion
Event Chairs: Carole Caplan and Reese Gratch- JRC; Deborah Newberger- Shir Hadash
Host Committee (in formation)
Freddi Greenberg and Dan Pinkert — Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
Rabbi Brant Rosen — Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
Cantor Howard Friedland — Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
Mary Jo Barrett and Dennis O’Keefe — Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
Halle Barnett — Kol HaLev
David Conn —Kol HaLev
Rabbi Eitan Weiner-Kaplow — Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Synagogue
With tremendous excitement, we are launching the Keruv/Outreach page on the JRF website; a center for collective wisdom and experience in models, programs and resources for best practices in creating welcoming Jewish congregational communities. We welcome you to visit www.jrf.org/keruv-library, review the wealth of resources and models, and contribute your own.
The site is a product of two years of intensive, creative work connected to the JRF NY/NJ region's Kehillah Kedoshah: Every Voice Matters Keruv/Outreach project. read more »
JRF invites our Midwestern Region's congregants to join us for our annual celebration, this year to be held at Ravinia. The event is on Tuesday, July 20 at 6:00 pm, and will feature Peter and Paul in a tribute to Mary.
We will be honoring our Moreh Derekh (Those who show us the path) Honorees:
Steve Blonder - Four term president of Ezra Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation, Steve led the synagogue through a significant transition and transformation.
Deborah Newberger - Deborah Newberger is a two-term past president of Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Synagogue in Northbrook, IL. A member since 1997, Deborah has served on the board of directors, youth group committee, fundraising committee, sabbatical committee, and is currently chairing the capital campaign committee -- working to secure a permanent home for Shir Hadash.
Carole Caplan - Carole Caplan is proud to be a past president of the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, IL, and to have helped build their new building as the "greenest" house of worship in America
Marc Hurwitz - Two-term President of Congregation Shir Hadash synagogue in Milwaukee, WI, has been a member since its founding in 1989. He chaired the Membership committee for 10 years, and has been actively involved in special programming and the development of the congregational school.
For more details and to register, contact Melanie Schneider at email@example.com or 212.870.2483
Beginning on the eve of the second day of Pesach, we are instructed by our tradition to count the days of the “Omer” until the fiftieth day, which is when the first barley crop would be harvested. It is also the Jewish holiday of Shavuot when, according to our tradition, the Jewish People received the Torah at Mt. Sinai. The counting of the Omer is a bridge between Pesach and Shavuot – between a moment of liberation and a moment of self-definition and direction at the beginning of our evolution as a religious civilization. It is an opportunity to deepen our study and close the gap between ideas and action for the tikkun (rebalancing, repair) of the challenges we face in our world.
Each week during JRF's annual Omer Learning Initiative, we highlight resources, teachings, and wisdom gleaned from the Reconstructionist movement and our organizational partners, on topics that cover the major social justice and spiritual activism areas JRF and our member congregations have been working on. In this way we have produced and collected a wide array of resources and have encouraged the sharing of best practices and concrete action for the renewal and repair of the individual, community and world we are part of.
2011 and 2012 Omer Initiative: Integration with Community Life (Omer is now part of the PEARL Initiative: www.jrf.org/PEARL)
2010 Omer Initiative: Tikkun Hanefesh V'Olam - Growing the Soul: Self, Community and World (http://jrf.org/omer/2010)
2009 Omer Initiative: From Study to Action (http://jrf.org/omer/2009)
2008 Omer Initiative: From the Values and Spirit of Tikkun to Community Building (http://jrf.org/omer/2008)
2005 Omer Initiative: Pirke Avot (The Wisdom of Our Sages) (http://188.8.131.52/pirke-avot/index.html)
Omer Initiative Home Page: (http://jrf.org/omer/home)
Mayyim Hayyim (http://www.mayyimhayyim.org/) Community Mikveh and Education Center is hosting the international Mikveh Conference, “Gathering the Waters” in Boston, October 10-12, 2010. JRF is a partner for this event, and we encourage you to attend this exciting program.
The conference will provide an in-depth exploration of the contemporary mikveh in theory and practice. Internationally renowned scholars, clergy, and educators will teach about immersion as a powerful tool for spiritual renewal, marking life transitions, and observing mitzvot.
read more »
Click here for Reconstructionist movement and other general resources for living a sustainable, Jewish life!
JRF is one of the supporting signers international observance of international observance of "Global Climate Healing Shabbat Noach". For more information see http://jrf.org/Shabbat-Noach-Global-350.
It is in conjunction with the 350.org campaign in which citizens of the world will engage in a wide range of events as a call to action and solidarity for an international plan of climate solutions that meets the latest science and gets us back to a safe and sustainable world. These events will serve as a lead in to the crucial United Nations conference on the climate change crisis scheduled for Copenhagen in December, 2009.
All Jewish communities including both national and grassroots Jewish organizations and individuals are urged to observe Shabbat Noach as a "Global Climate Healing Shabbat" with special prayers, sermons, Torah commentary/ midrash, songs, lectures, debates, panel discussions, resolutions, kiddushes, meals, nature-walks, stories for children, invitations to public officials and environmental activists, and other means of bringing Jewish commitment to bear on healing the Earth from the dangers that wasting energy and over-use of fossil fuels is bringing upon us all."
For more information see http://jrf.org/Shabbat-Noach-Global-350
Just a year and a half old, Congregation Kol HaNeshama, founded by a small group of year-round and seasonal residents, has already established itself as a creative force in Sarasota, and has now joined JRF as the 106th affiliate. Since its inception it has grown to 38 households, and is operating on a 12-month calendar, including all major holidays. read more »
Dear Ma Nishma Subscriber,
I'm happy to deliver to your e-mail doorstep the latest issue of Ma Nishma ("What's Happening?"), featuring news and events from JRF. Now everyone can subscribe to Ma Nishma. Register at the JRF website at http://jrf.org/user/register then click "Manage your JRF e-newsletter subscriptions" at the top left of the home page to subscribe. read more »
Newsletter editors and webmasters: Please reprint stories and announcements from this issue for a JRF News page in your congregational newsletter and on your website.
For your information, here are the resolutions that came out of the recent JCPA plenum. In the two years since JRF became a member religious organization and fourth Jewish movement in the JCPA, we have participated in many coalitions and sign-on initiatives. This Plenum marked the first time we were a national religious organization co-sponsoring three of the resolutions below. Thanks to Carl Sheingold (JRF Executive Vice-President), Bob Barkin (JRF President) and Val Kaplan (JRF Chair of External Affiliations) for representing us and voting on our behalf at the Plenum.
Full listing of partner organizations and sign-ons,
JCPA speaks to you each week, alerting you to what the community relations field is doing to safeguard the rights of Jews here, in Israel, and around the world and to protect, preserve and promote a just, democratic and pluralistic American society. For three generations, we have brought together diverse voices in the Jewish community to unite a strong Jewish public policy force.
Date: March 11, 2009
From: Max Mulcahy, Program Director, JCPA
Below are the final versions of the JCPA resolutions as adopted by the 2009 Plenum. Click on the links to access the resolution text in pdf format. Please share these resolutions with your board and leadership. If you have any questions please feel free to contact JCPA offices.