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At Central Synagogue

#GivingTuesday

Posted November 21, 2016

#GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (November 29), it serves as an opportunity for people to pledge to give their time and resources to their communities.

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How Voter Registration Transformed Me

Posted November 1, 2016

How Voter Registration Transformed Me

The obligation and privilege to vote has always been somewhat obvious to my family, my friends, and me. So when Central asked for volunteers to help register voters, I signed up right away. I knew it would feel good to help, but I had no idea that the experience would be transformative.

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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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On Recent Tragedies: A Message from Your Clergy

Posted July 11, 2016

On Recent Tragedies: A Message from Your Clergy

We could say we've been here before, but this moment feels especially difficult. We can only lean on the calm wisdom of Dallas' Chief of Police, whose words about the Dallas bloodshed can be applied to every one of these tragedies: “We're hurting….We are heartbroken….All I know is that this must stop.”

The Jewish people have never “stood idly by,” have always found some way to collectively mourn, act, ease others’ suffering, deny victory to those forces of hatred or bigotry. I know each of us will be thoughtfully weighing where our time or resources might help to alleviate the anguish of recent days. But in the meantime, we are a close community who will stay close, lean on each other for comfort, for discussion, and for faith, that there will be a better moment and a week without tragedy.

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A Prayer for Voting

Posted April 15, 2016

A Prayer for Voting

We enter into the voting booth to participate in one of our most sacred rights, privileges, and yes, even obligations, knowing how blessed we are to live in a country in which individuals are elected through the voice of the people. Your vote is counted. Your voice contributes to the future of our country. With our voice and our vote, we live our Jewish values in the public square. It is a sacred act to exercise our right to vote in this country. As so, you might find it meaningful to add a spiritual dimension by bringing this prayer with you into the voting booth – to set your intentions and elevate this moment for you, for any children you bring with you, and for our country.

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Central’s Breakfast Program: More than a Mitzvah

Posted April 11, 2016

Central’s Breakfast Program: More than a Mitzvah

Molly Shapiro (pictured left) has been volunteering with Central's Breakfast Program since the age of 10.

In many ways, I wake up at 5am for myself just as much as I am for them. I am energized by our conversations, grateful for their company, and more self-aware when I leave to go to school that day. Seeing their lack of layers on winter’s coldest mornings puts any bad test score or Model UN anxiety in perspective.

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Revival Blessing

Posted April 4, 2016

Revival Blessing

Rabbi Stephanie Kolin gave this a blessing at the launch of The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values, a National Revival Tour to Redefine Morality in American Politics. Organized by Repairers of the Breach, Healing of the Nations Ministries, and Drum Major Institute, in coordination with local groups. Revival efforts will include training interfaith clergy and young adults in prophetic moral analysis, moral articulation, and moral activism; calling political leaders to rise above hatred and fear to our highest values of love and justice; and direct actions in state capitals led by clergy and impacted people for three Mondays in September, dramatizing the pain already inflicted by unjust policies. The launch occurred Sunday, April 3 at Riverside Church in New York City.

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Rabbi Kolin Speaks Out on Anti-Refugee Rhetoric

Posted December 3, 2015

Rabbi Kolin Speaks Out on Anti-Refugee Rhetoric

Deciding between security or refugees, “them” or “us,” obscures the real choice we make in the most challenging of times: will our fear win, or will our humanity? Will we turn inward or will we live our highest values of love for the stranger, knowing the soul of the stranger as intimately as we do? As Jews who know what it means to be turned away from borders, our answer must be yes, let them in.

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Project Prom a Success!

Posted May 4, 2015

Project Prom a Success!

Thank you to all who donated to Project Prom and for making this program such a success!

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Benjamin Susser: Tikkun Olam on His Bar Mitzvah

Posted March 4, 2014

Benjamin Susser: Tikkun Olam on His Bar Mitzvah

Ask recent bar mitzvah Benjamin Susser about his extensive involvement with Central Synagogue’s Caring Committee, and he responds simply and with intention: “Being a mensch is who I want to be as a Jew.” His care for the less fortunate appears entirely effortless, a central part of his Jewish identity.

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