Category Archives: Leaders by Choice

A Holy Stranger with Open Arms

Alissa Thomas
April 29, 2013

There is nothing like seeing my father dressed head to toe in all white. His soul hearkens to the time of the Kabbalistic rabbis who, draped in white clothing, would sing Kabbalat Shabbat in the fields. I imagine my father in his Shabbat white watching the sun set with his arms spread like angels’ wings More »


Affirming Life: The Journey of Personal Leadership

Yoni A. Dahlen
April 26, 2013

For millennia the frightening reality of existence has forced the greatest minds into submission.  The genesis of philosophy, science, art, religion came into being for the sake of confronting the impossible, and today only the naive and desperate claim that significant ground has been made.  Life evades all rules and boundaries.  It laughs and dances More »


Dangerous Convert Rabbis (and the Pope)

Rabbi Juan Mejia
April 24, 2013

“You might not know it, but convert rabbis are among us.  They have infiltrated our rabbinical seminaries for over two decades and, now, they likely run some of our congregations, hold influence and sway in our institutions, teach our children at day schools, Hebrew schools and Hillels across the nation.  These rabbis, my dear fellow More »


The Perfect Rabbi

Rachel S. Harris
April 22, 2013

In response to the discussions that have arisen around leadership needs in my synagogue, with the search for a new Rabbi, I propose this alternative job advertisement. To the tune of “The Perfect Nanny” from Mary Poppins. The Perfect Rabbi by Rachel Harris: [Spoken] Wanted a Rabbi for an adorable congregation [Sung] If you want More »


My Least Favorite Question

Alex Braver
April 19, 2013

It’s my least favorite question. I get it at parties, when running into an acquaintance I haven’t seen in a long time, and speaking with relatives or family friends.  I get it from Jews and non-Jews, during late-night conversations and at the dentist’s office.  I can see it coming from miles away as people go More »


Response to “No Conversion Required”

Rabbi Richard Hirsh
April 18, 2013

I appreciate the thoughtfulness in Mamie Kanfer Stewart’s reflections but one line gave me pause: “ We can say ‘thank you’ to fellow travelers who have chosen to raise their children as Jews…”  Stewart’s suggestion reminds me of stories I have heard of rabbis who have an aliya and/or misheberach on the High Holidays for non-Jewish More »


The Choices We Make

Emily Goldberg
April 17, 2013

I believe with every fiber in my being that one does not need a conversion certificate in order to be considered a “Jew by choice.” One need not convert from the Bible Belt or a Hindu ashram in order to make the choice that each one of us makes on a daily basis. Yes- each More »


On Rabbinic Authenticity and Ambivalence

Rabbi Julie Pelc Adler
April 15, 2013

I’ve waited until the last minute to write this blog, mainly because the prospect of broaching the subject of conversion to Judaism necessitates that I look squarely into the face of a conversation I try to avoid: it’s about intermarriage.  As a Reform rabbi, I (unlike my colleagues ordained by the Conservative or Orthodox movements) More »