I like funerals. Don’t get me wrong. I know that funerals represent loss. I feel deep empathy for the mourners. And death can also be tragic, especially when disease or tragedy cuts short a life precipitously. But even though the loss of a loved one leaves an emotional hole in one’s soul that may never […]
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The decision made by Simon Biles, America’s premier gymnast, not to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in most of the events that she trained for, set off a firestorm of commentary. We are a country that lionizes our athletes. The better the athlete is, the greater the pressure exerted on them to compete and to […]
This week we begin reading the fourth book of the Torah, Bemidbar, “in the wilderness”. I’d like to reflect a bit on the theme of wilderness and what it might mean to us today. I’d like to drash it, literally, play with the meaning of the word “wilderness”, in three ways. This was the Bemidbar/Shavuot dvar […]
sid.schwarz Articles American Jewish Yearbook, anti-semitism;, Charles Liebman, chosen people concept, ethnocentrism, excommunication, gentiles, intolerance, Jewish supremacy, Jonathan Sacks, Mordecai Kaplan, Passover Haggadah, racism, religion and social tranformation, The Dignity of Difference, Torah blessings, white privilege, white supremacy
Several years ago, I was leading services at my congregation in the month of February and we dedicated the shabbat to Black History Month. In addition to my dvar torah, which was on the theme of “Racism in America”, we sponsored an afternoon of learning that featured a panel of three people of color, breakout […]
I’m an old-fashioned news hound. I can’t start my day without reading the newspaper. The Washington Post is my paper of choice. And I read the hard copy that gets thrown on my lawn every morning around 5am. But then, as I start my workday, I work in a professional bubble of my own creation. […]
Genesis Ch. 32 contains the well-known story of Jacob’s night of wrestling the angel in advance of his reunion with his brother Esau. They have not seen each other since Jacob stole Esau’s birthright and ran away to save himself from Esau’s potential revenge. It is tempting to use the story as a lesson about […]
By Rabbis Sharon Brous, Laura Geller, Jack Moline, Sid Schwarz and Shmuly Yanklowitz
To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. This political moment is a time for rabbis and clergy of all faiths to speak out forcefully to protect both truth and democracy.
sid.schwarz Articles communities of meaning, Covid 19, emerging Jewish communities, Jewish community, Jewish Federations, Jewish identity, Jewish start-ups, Kenissa: Communities of Meaning Network, legacy Jewish organizations
I have spent a considerable amount of time over the past 20 years in the synagogue transformation space. I currently direct CLI, a two-year fellowship for rabbis on visionary thinking and change management. On our website, we curate a monthly synagogue innovation blog which includes some truly transformational ideas that are re-imagining synagogues for the […]
sid.schwarz Articles Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation, American tribalism, Beloved Community, compassion, covenantal community, Covid 19, Eclipse of God, Emmanuel Levinas, Face Time, Golden Rule, holy community, Ira Eisenstein, Martin Buber, panim el panim, PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values, reaching out to the "other"
Every good sermon has at least one compelling metaphor. Here is mine for this evening; it is visual (a camera shot of the empty sanctuary). When I learned back in July that Adat Shalom would only be holding remote services for the High Holydays, I was overtaken by a deep sadness that I felt in […]
David Axelrod, a former top aide to President Barack Obama often credited with masterminding his two successful campaigns for the presidency, recently published a column in The Washington Post that hit me between the eyes and sat heavily on my heart. Axelrod and I about the same age. He was too young to have been active in […]