Author Archives: Rabbi Alon C Ferency

Rabbi Alon C Ferency

About Rabbi Alon C Ferency

pursued Israeli-Palestinian economic integration in the 1990’s at Harvard University. After a bicycle trip from Seattle to Boston, he entered the Peace Corps in Cameroon as a Community Health organizer. Then, he worked in the music industry, before receiving a Master’s Degree in Informal Jewish Education from J.T.S., and rabbinical ordination from the Ziegler School in 2010. Today, Alon is the rabbi of Heska Amuna Synagogue in Knoxville, Tennessee. There, he serves as a board member of the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking, and served on the Community Health Council, Together! Healthy Knox, and the ethics committee of the University of Tennessee Medical Center. He is also a regular contributor to Conservative Judaism quarterly, and an alumnus of Leadership Knoxville and the Tikvah Fellowship. His sermons are available at heskaamuna.org/sermons.html; and, you may follow him on Facebook (facebook.com/EclecticCleric) and Twitter (@EclecticCleric).

An Imperfect Security

Rabbi Alon C Ferency
February 17, 2014

I love clearing my inbox: the petty thrill of Gmail informing me “no new mail.” Frustratingly, it happens less and less often. When I tell congregants, colleagues, or friends that I’m “behind” on work, they smile knowingly, and say with forbearance, “and you always will be.” Truly, it would be nice to be on top More »

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Tribe, Homeland and Diaspora

Rabbi Alon C Ferency
December 30, 2013

Recently, the Chinese Communist Party’s third plenum of the 18th Central Committee stoked the speculation of China-watchers.  “Will this third plenum turn out to transform China as Deng Xiaoping’s did in 1978?”  Veiled and opaque statements emanating from President Xi Jinping at the session give cause for optimism about the future of China’s economy and More »

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Perils of Empathy

Rabbi Alon C Ferency
November 11, 2013

Hannibal Buress, one of the great stand-up comedians working today, says, “I don’t believe in cancer walks.  Well, I believe in them, because they exist but I’d rather just give money straight up and save my Saturday afternoon.  I can make my own t-shirt, that’s not incentive.  Plus, I don’t think cancer responds to how More »

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Thin Places

Rabbi Alon C Ferency
October 7, 2013

In general, I follow Rabbi Isaac’s doctrine that “God is the dwelling-place of God’s world, but God’s world is not God’s [sole] dwelling-place.”  Effectively, I hold to a panentheistic conception of holiness: God is immanent in all things, and God transcends them; or, as McCartney might have said, God is “Here, There and Everywhere.”  But More »

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Nostalgia: An Underrated Jewish Value

Rabbi Alon C Ferency
September 17, 2013

Be careful what you wish for: I always wanted to work with a curious, educated, incisive congregation, and I got it.  As you can imagine, this comes with its own challenges: my congregants are also opinionated and strong-willed.  For example, conversations about ritual and worship are regularly punctuated with the question, “Why do we have More »

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