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At Central Synagogue

Central Helps Hurricane-Ravaged Temple Build New Bimah

Posted October 24, 2016

Central Helps Hurricane-Ravaged Temple Build New Bimah

Damage from Hurricane Sandy suffered by West End Temple.

The condition of their sanctuary left me speechless. I could not comprehend how a congregation just 25 miles away from Central was in such disrepair. Although much of the building that is used for the religious school, Universal Pre-K, and community engagement, has now been reconstructed, at the beginning of the summer their sanctuary still had exposed sheet rock, water stained wood benches, bare cement floors, and a plywood bimah with a folding table and furniture borrowed from other congregations.

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Sukkot Video Series

Posted October 18, 2016

Sukkot Video Series

Who would you invite into your Sukkah? That is the question we posed to our clergy as we celebrated Sukkot this past week. Check out the complete five-part series.

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A Note of Appreciation from a High Holy Days Live Streamer

Posted October 18, 2016

A Note of Appreciation from a High Holy Days Live Streamer

I'm tearing up as I write this. It just means so much that you helped us rise above a number of very difficult circumstances to enjoy the holiday and make it feel special.

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Shimon Peres, z”l

Posted September 28, 2016

Shimon Peres, z”l

Photo | TheSundayTimes.co.uk

Today, we mourn the death of the last of Israel's founding fathers, Shimon Peres. Mr. Peres died Wednesday morning in Israel, after having suffered a stroke earlier this month. He was 93 years old.

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Central Synagogue’s New Portable Ark: Q & A with Artist Jeffrey Brosk

Posted September 27, 2016

Central Synagogue’s New Portable Ark: Q & A with Artist Jeffrey Brosk

Artist Jeffrey Brosk was recently commissioned to build a portable ark, a Torah reading desk, and two Torah holders for Central Synagogue. These ceremonial objects will be used at Lincoln Center High Holy Days services and in the Peter J. Rubinstein Chapel in the Community House during the rest of the year. Central’s Director of Communications Annette Powers sat down with Jeffrey to learn a little more about the project and his background as an artist.

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L’Shanah Tovah 5777: If Not Higher

Posted September 26, 2016

L’Shanah Tovah 5777: If Not Higher

This happened during the last week of the Hebrew month of Elul, just before Rosh HaShanah. It was the time for saying the special penitential prayers called S’lichot, the prayers asking for forgiveness. In this village, an official walked from house to house at dawn with his lantern, and he knocked on each door calling “Wake up! It’s time to wake up!” And the Jews got up to go to synagogue to say their prayers asking for forgiveness. During these days, a man came to the village to visit his cousin. He had never been there before, nor had he ever met their famous rabbi.

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Finding Community at Central: A Personal Story

Posted September 23, 2016

Finding Community at Central: A Personal Story

I first heard Rabbi Buchdahl speak at this past Rosh HaShanah at Lincoln Center when she gave her Crowns of Torah: Re-Forming Judaism sermon. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. I was humbled and touched by her welcoming remarks to non-Jews like me. In that moment, I looked at the thousands of people in that room and felt tears in my eyes. I was crying tears of joy because, as a non-Jew, I was being warmly invited into this community where my Jewish wife and I have chosen to educate and raise our daughter as a Jew.

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The Israel No One Talks About

Posted September 1, 2016

The Israel No One Talks About

Bill Gates recently joined 2,000 attendees at Microsoft Israel's Think Next event and declared: "Israeli technology is improving the world." But herein lies the rub: no one knows it. The U.S. media focuses mostly on the political Israel and not on Israeli citizens who work quietly each day to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

Untold News was founded in 2010 to change all that.

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Reflections of a Special Condolence Call

Posted August 23, 2016

Reflections of a Special Condolence Call

On Monday of this week, I was honored to join the New York Board of Rabbis to visit the home of Imam Akonjee, who was murdered along with his friend Thara Miah on his way home from prayer on August 13. We came to Ozone Park with condolences to share, solidarity in our hearts, and a message that the whole faith community mourns with their family.

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Not By Might: Channeling the Power of Faith to End Gun Violence Book Preview

Posted July 18, 2016

Not By Might: Channeling the Power of Faith to End Gun Violence Book Preview

Rabbis Against Gun Violence, a grassroots group of rabbis from across the denominational spectrum, have produced a rapid-response book, Not By Might: Channeling the Power of Faith to End Gun Violence, in the wake of the massacre in Orlando. Rabbis and teachers from every walk of life and all over the country produced stirring words of inspiration, guidance, and teachings from the Torah and Jewish tradition, to awaken us to real action. I was privileged to write a chapter about work I did around gun policy reform in Chicago.

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