Come sing and pray and meditate with me

Source: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/45-minutes-for-America-s-45th-peaceful-transfer-of-power-.html?soid=1100447839517&aid=cD4dqmr6rGI

 

Dear Kol Ami family and friends,
It is a new day in America and the people have exercised their civic duty.  Whether we like or dislike the outcome of the election and the many races and propositions that were on the ballot, as Americans we still must be in awe of the great process and privilege that is voting in a democracy.
I know many in our Kol Ami community are passionate about politics. After all, Jews have long embraced democracy because it allowed us to thrive as a people like never before in history. But I also know many of you have expressed to me your deep fears and concerns after such a ugly, contentious election season. Many of you are scared and devastated.
It was an election that was filled with overt racism, misogyny, xenophobia, Islamophobia, Antisemitism and anti-LGBT sentiments. The President-Elect and his Vice President-Elect have fostered many of these in their election rhetoric. Let us pray that they understand governing is different than electioneering and that they now become the President and Vice President of all Americans and American residents.
President-Elect Trump has the opportunity to use his office to bring
Americans together, and to move us toward a brighter future. If he does so, we will be ready to work with him for the common good. If he does not, we stand ready to be fierce advocates for the values that guide us: inclusivity, justice, and compassion.
So for those of you that are in pain and turmoil after last night’s results, for those of you who are scared or questioning your faith in America, or questioning your faith at all – I invite you to join me tonight from 6:30 pm to 7:15 pm at our Temple, Congregation Kol Ami 1200 N. La Brea Avenue for 45 minutes of healing and hope with meditations for our future and our country. 
Afterwards, we’ll adjourn to our rooftop deck for refreshments, conversation, listening to one another and supporting each other. For those who would like to stay, at 8 pm we’ll join Pastor Keith Cox and the Center for Spiritual Living for 30 minutes of uplifting music and communal prayer in our sanctuary.
This week we read Parshat Lech Lecha. Abraham’s call to leave his home and discover a new land and a new promise and a new relationship with God. The days and weeks ahead will be our time to explore this journey as a Kol Ami community and what we can do to make our values heard in the marketplace of ideas and to protect these values in our country.
For centuries Jews have prayed for the welfare of the country they lived in and its leaders. All the while knowing that we Jews have a Higher Power! As we pray in the Prayer for our Nation:
We ask God for guidance for ourselves and for our nation, to grant
our leaders the wisdom and forbearance to govern with justice and compassion. We ask God to help us appreciate one another and to respect the many ways that we may be faithful to the ways of righteousness, and to keep our country sound in body and spirit.
Shalom ,
Rabbi Eger Signature
Rabbi Denise L. Eger

Reform Jewish Movement Statement on the 2016 Presidential Election | Religious Action Center

For Immediate Release November 9, 2016 Contact Max Rosenblum Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism 202-387-2800, news@rac.org

Source: Reform Jewish Movement Statement on the 2016 Presidential Election | Religious Action Center

For Immediate Release
November 9, 2016

Contact
Max Rosenblum
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
202-387-2800, news@rac.org

Press Release from the Religious Action Center

WASHINGTON – The people have voted and American democracy is strong. We respect that vote and we extend our hand to President-elect Trump. We also extend our hand to the members of the 115th Congress. These leaders will have critical decisions to make that will weigh on the future of our nation, our communities, our families and the entire world. We hope that they govern with wisdom and righteousness to create a space where all Americans are respected.

President-elect Trump has the opportunity to use his office to bring Americans together, and to move us toward a brighter future. If he does so, we will be ready to work with him for the common good. If he does not, we also stand ready to be fierce advocates for the values that guide us: inclusivity, justice and compassion.

This week we read Parsha Lech Lecha with its clarion call to “go forth.” Just as Abraham went out into a place of great uncertainty, we now find ourselves in an unanticipated time and place. But we know, like Abraham, that our faith and enduring values will be a strong foundation as we move forward.  We love the stranger, feed the hungry and care for the orphan and the widow.

Throughout our Reform Movement’s history, our congregations, institutions, rabbis, cantors, other professionals and lay leaders have striven to bring all of us together to strengthen and to sustain one another, and to work together in the pursuit of justice for everyone. We welcome all: Jews and non-Jews, people of all races and religions, of all sexual orientations and the immigrants among us. That welcome is the essence of who we are as a community, and who we are as a country, and that remains as true today as it has ever been.

As we pray each week in our synagogues on Shabbat in the Prayer for our Nation, we ask God for guidance for ourselves and for our nation, to grant our leaders the wisdom and forbearance to govern with justice and compassion. We ask God to help us appreciate one another and to respect the many ways that we may be faithful to the ways of righteousness, and to keep our country sound in body and spirit.

Union for Reform Judaism
Daryl Messinger, Chair, North American Board of Trustees
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President

Central Conference of American Rabbis
Rabbi Denise L. Eger, President
Rabbi Steven A. Fox, Chief Executive

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Isabel P. Dunst, Chair, Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director

 

Advancing Temple Institutional Development

American Conference of Cantors

Association of Reform Jewish Educators

Association of Reform Zionists of America

Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism

Men of Reform Judaism

North American Federation of Temple Youth

Women of Reform Judaism

Women’s Rabbinic Network

World Union for Progressive Judaism

###

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose nearly 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.

Published: 11/09/2016

Last night

Last night, November 8, I shared these words on my Facebook page.

Friends and family if Mr Trump prevails and it is looking that way as I write this , there will be no time to sit and whine, mourn or cry. We will dust off and march forward as there is a country that needs kindness, people who are broken and hurting on both sides of the divide, people who will need protection and help if the Trump rhetoric is actualized. We will have to protect our planet and stand up to misogyny and racism and xenophobia that infects America. But most of all we will need to summon the well spring of love for all people because it is love that will conquer fear and doubt and despair. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love your God with all your all your heart and soul and being! Love more deeply. Even when it is hard to.


A word to those who put so much effort into this election. If your candidate or proposition lost remember there is always another election. That is the great thing about our democracy. That old adage is true- if first you don’t succeed try try again. But also this: as a person of faith though I am interested in politics I know that I don’t put my faith in politics or politicians. To do so is idol worship. Rather my faith is built on the timeless and eternal values of my spiritual tradition (in my case Judaism ) and my faith in what I call the Divine. Politics is a tool not the end all and be all. So if you are hurting and sad and don’t know what to do. Focus on what matters – justice, love, and humility. Or as the prophet Micah taught: What does God require of you? Only to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. Who wants to go for a walk? #pickingmyselfupandwalkingforward

Help Israel Be More Just

Help Israel become a more Just Society.  Join the campaign to write 1000’s of letters to Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, Diaspora Minister Naftali Bennett to follow Israel’s Supreme Court Ruling to follow through on the plans to enhance the Southern Kotel (Western Wall) Plaza as a place for egalitarian prayer.  The Ultra-Orthodox threatening to topple the government have blocked the agreed to compromise from happenng.  You can make the difference. Click on the link below to have a letter delivered to these Israeli leaders on your behalf.  Reform and Conservative Judaism along with the Jewish Federations of North America are working together on this project to ensure that there is One wall for One Jewish People and that all are included!

 

We can’t let Jews get arrested for wanting to pray at the Kotel!

click here

FIGHT ON

My time as an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California was an important part of my life.  I was only there for two years–my junior and senior year of college but it left an indelible imprint on my life.

Here is an article published today on the USC Dornsife Website (Liberal Arts) featuring my story and highlighting my years at USC.  #FightOn

A prayer for Orlando

Dear Readers

For those of you not connected with me on Facebook-here is the video of the prayer I gave at the Los Angeles Candle light Vigil after the Orlando mass shooting.  We must mourn the deaths of these innocent people and pray for the healing and recovery of those injured.  But injuries take many forms–not just physical injuries by emotional, spiritual, and psychological and we pray for healing of those injuries as well.  Our condolences and sympathies are extended to the lovers, families and friends of those murdered.  There is time for every experience under heaven says the book of Ecclesiastes.  This is a time for mourning. There will be ample time for anger and action. But now we mourn.