Rabbi Sid on Video

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Can Zionism be the Answer?

Students of American Jewry often point to 1967 as a watershed in the evolution of the American Jewish community. The anxiety that American Jews felt in the weeks leading up to the Six Day War was palpable. There was no evidence that Israel could defend itself against any concerted Arab military assault, no less a [...]

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Loyalty, Truth and Freedom of Expression

Given the controversy surrounding Theater J’s production of Motti Lerner’s play, The Admission, at the DCJCC, I expected a full scale indictment of Israel’s conduct during the 1948 War of Independence. Instead I encountered a play that probed the complexity of war, politics, memory, ethnic identity, love and survival with astounding sensitivity and nuance. Ever [...]

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A Jewish Approach to the “Differently-Abled”

I did not know a thing about Jewish Disability Awareness Month (JDAM) until a member of my synagogue called and told me that she was going to make it happen at our congregation. As the founding rabbi of Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation in Bethesda, MD, I still periodically lead services. It was determined by the [...]

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Limiting Debate on Israel Will Only Hurt Us

The current controversy brewing in the Hillel universe is only the latest example of a Jewish community polarized over how we can or can’t talk about Israel. The guidelines, developed by national Hillel in 2010, were designed to provide a basis upon which a local Hillel could prevent overtly anti-Israel groups from speaking under the [...]

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Does Jewish Renewal Have a Future?

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time at the annual gathering of Ohala, the rabbinical association of the Jewish Renewal movement, and at a shabbaton led by students studying at Aleph, the rabbinical training program of the movement. Although I knew quite a few people at the conference, I came as an outsider. I [...]

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