In 2006, Rabbi Nancy Myers of Westminster's Temple Beth David used her Rosh Hashanah sermon to address the horrors of the Abu Ghraib scandals.
She was about to make a point about acting morally as Jews when a congregant walked down the sanctuary's aisle with his hands crossed in a time-out signal. Myers, new at the time to the Reform synagogue, thought the interruption was because someone had had a heart attack, so she stopped talking.
What does $1,000 buy you these days in Jewish life?
Maybe, if you're lucky, a full-year family synagogue membership. But what exactly does that mean? Two tickets to High Holiday services? Free parking? Entree to Kiddushes?
At a time when families have limited time and money and so much competing for it, synagogue leaders are realizing the need to offer more to potential and existing congregant.
The Shabbat morning services last Saturday were wonderful.
Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf (TBS) has a new home. The congregation, which for 35 years was located in Arleta, is now renting space at Temple Judea in Tarzana.
Rabbi Barnett Brickner sits, frowning in his study at Temple Judea of Massapequa, N.Y. He's been asked his opinion of the proposed new "platform" of Reform Judaism, which comes up for a vote next May at a national convention of Reform rabbis. The platform says that the Torah was revealed by God at Sinai and that its commandments "call to us even though we live in modernity." It urges Reform Jews to pray daily, to make the Sabbath a holy day, to follow dietary laws, and more. Brickner is alarmed.
Note to future rabbis: If you want to make a lasting firstimpression with your congregants, nothing beats farm animals on thebimah. Just ask anyone at Temple Adat Shalom in West LosAngeles. It's been almost four months since Michael Resnick took overthere, and they're still talking about his goats.
Rachmiel Steinberg is a "Bostoner" Chassid, but, he quips, he is also the Los Angeles Police Department's "show-and-tell rabbi." That's because the Yavneh Hebrew Academy teacher has taken on some unusual students lately: officers of the LAPD's Wilshire Division.