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“American Jews, You Have to Choose Sides on Israel”
Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist for The New York Times, featured Rabbi Sharon Brous’s most recent Sermon, The Tears of Zion, https://bit.ly/3YlSj8Y in his op-ed, “American Jews, You Have to Choose Sides on Israel” https://lnkd.in/gAqeDjR3
The JTA News just ran an article that offered a revealing glimpse into this reality. It quoted a Los Angeles rabbi, Rabbi Sharon Brous, as beginning her sermon on Israel last month with a content warning to her congregants: “I have to say some things today that I know will upset some of you.” “Every American rabbi knew what she meant: Israel has become such a hot-button issue that it cannot be discussed without taking sides for or against Netanyahu’s policies.
As Rabbi Sharon Brous told the JTA News, “You have a wonderful community, and you love them and they love you, until the moment you stand up and you give your Israel sermon.” She said the phenomenon has an informal name: “Death-by-Israel sermon.”
Death-by-Israel sermon. Never heard that before.
What makes the situation even more incendiary is that the fault line on Israel — pro- or anti-Netanyahu — often overlaps with the fault line between Democrats and Republicans, and we know how explosive that divide is.”
Tablet Magazine: What Would the Torah Say About Rent Control? By Louis Sallerson
In the midst of a national housing crisis, California’s Jewish organizations are breaking ground.
Invocation at Inauguration of Mayor Karen Bass
Holy One, bless this City of Visionaries and Dreamers, Strivers and Seekers, and—maybe most notably—Storytellers.
The stories told here—with the pen and with our lives—ignite the imagination of the whole world!
Across our nation, an old story is resurgent in our time: a story built on lies, prejudices and conspiracy theories. That is a story of scarcity—in which one group’s gain is another’s loss, a story that narrows the horizon of our moral concern and threatens the fabric of our democracy.
But in this city, we will never cede to that story. Instead, together we are writing one, rooted in great dreams and fueled by our deepest commitments.
In our story, we are strengthened by our diversity.
Breaking Down LA County’s Recently Released Hate Crime Statistics & Rise In Antisemitic Attacks Nationwide
The Bug in the Software of the West: Some Thoughts on Recent Antisemitic Incidents on the Anniversary of the Tree of Life Massacre
Imagine a Bible With No Moses, No Story of the Exodus
“The story of the Exodus leaves us with a moral imperative: Our perpetual challenge is to build a society in which every person is treated as an image of the Holy One, living in full dignity.”
California bill could make it easier for houses of faith to build affordable housing
“As we began the process of thinking about what it means for us to have a home in Los Angeles, and to live out our values, it means creating homes for other people because that is the greatest need right now.” – Brooke Wirtschafter, IKAR’s Director of Community Organizing. We’re proud to work alongside our co-sponsors, Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, L.A. Voice, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, Southern California Association of NonProfit Housing, & United Way of Greater Los Angeles. Thank you to Religion News Service & Alejandra Molina for your coverage of our important work.
Our spiritual leaders need to step up to heal our political divisions. By Simone Campbell, For Religion News Service
“My friend Rabbi Sharon Brous recently shared with a group of us where she finds hope. She quoted Psalm 126: “Those who sow in tears, reap in joyous song.”
Rabbi Brous reminded us that “we have wept sacred tears, crying out for justice and equity, love and fairness. Those tears have not been wasted. For years, our tears have cultivated the soil for transformation, making it possible for a true multiracial democracy to one day flourish. So I remain hopeful, knowing that yesterday’s tears will one day bear the fruit of the beautiful world yet to be born.”
Amen, Rabbi, amen”
“Whoopi Goldberg Apologized. Punishing Her Further Is Un-Jewish.” By Nathan Hirsch, NY Times Opinion Section
“If what you want is to change someone’s mind, I have to think education is more effective than public shaming and punishment. Particularly when that person shows a sincere willingness to learn and apologize,” tweeted Sharon Brous, the senior rabbi of Ikar, a Jewish congregation in Los Angeles, in reaction to the news about Ms. Goldberg’s suspension.
The Native American Judaism of LA By Jeremy Stern, Tablet Magazine
“Look, the prevailing narrative is ‘Oh my god, we’re disappearing,’” Feinstein says. “And yet a dying people doesn’t produce a genius like David Wolpe or Sharon Brous or Craig Taubman and Danny Maseng. There’s a thing here called The Braid. It used to be called the Jewish Women’s Theater, it’s a wonderfully creative group of people. A dying people doesn’t do that.”
Los Angeles as the Center of American Jewish Life By Mark Horowitz, Tablet Magazine
Has less power and influence translated into fewer Jews or Jews being less Jewish? Just the opposite. LA today feels more Jewish, not less. And it’s not just the bagels. Growing Orthodox communities have their new shuls and yeshivas, while liberal and reform neighbors have been revitalizing old institutions and exploring progressive alternatives to traditional synagogues with organizations like IKAR, led by Rabbi Sharon Brous, and the Pico-Union Project founded by Craig Taubman.
Did ABC miss a learning opportunity by suspending Whoopi?, By Jane Har, Associated Press
Others echoed the sentiment that discussion was better than punishment.
“If what you want is to change someone’s mind, I have to think education is more effective than public shaming and punishment. Particularly when that person shows a sincere willingness to learn and apologize,” tweeted Sharon Brous, a rabbi in Los Angeles.
Are Jews white? Is Whoopi Goldberg Jewish? ‘The View’ Holocaust controversy, explained By Gabe Friedman, JTA
And yet many prominent Jews were willing to give Goldberg, if not a pass, then a second or third chance, especially in the name of using the controversy as a teachable moment.
As Rabbi Sharon Brous of the Ikar community in Los Angeles tweeted, “If what you want is to change someone’s mind, I have to think education is more effective than public shaming and punishment. Particularly when that person shows a sincere willingness to learn and apologize.”
Interfaith Alliance’s “The American Purpose w/ Rabbi Jack Moline: Rabbi Sharon Brous”
Rabbi Jack Moline, host and president of Interfaith Alliance, speaks with Rabbi Sharon Brous about how her faith motivates her to work toward building a more just, more inclusive nation.
Rabbi Brous In The New York Times, Speaking On The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
“What most American Jews desire is to see Israelis and Palestinians living in dignity, in a just and equitable society,” said Rabbi Sharon Brous, the leader of IKAR, a large progressive synagogue in Los Angeles. “It is imperative that we support a third way,” she said, “recognizing the generational trauma and suffering of both peoples and creating a just and shared future for everyone.” – Rabbi Sharon Brous. Read the full article here.