It’s been two weeks since the news broke about the pervasive and decades-long sexual molestation of at least 1,000 children by no fewer than 300 priests in Pennsylvania. It would be an understatement to say, that as a member of the clergy and as a father, I was sickened as I read through snippets of the grand jury report that described in detail, not only the testimonials from victims, but the systematic cover-up of these despicable crimes and abuses of power.
There cannot be too little attention paid to the victims and too little concern about how, if at all, the Catholic church can atone for such a massive transgression in, what should be, the most fundamental moral concern of any institution of higher calling--the safety and well-being of children.
by Rabbi Ari Sunshine and the Klei Kodesh
As we reconvene in these coming days and weeks, we want to share with you a few important changes in our ritual life that you will notice when you come to shul. Our first core value in our new vision statement is that we are a caring community—one that is inclusive, warm, and welcoming to members and guests. We believe that each of these changes will help ensure that each soul who walks into our building, and participates in the life of our community, can see themselves represented in our rituals and liturgy. We also believe that these new initiatives will make our services more accessible and inviting, building and strengthening connections between each of us and our tradition and between us and our fellow congregants.
by Emily Cobert
I returned to the United States at the end of May from studying abroad in Israel. Part of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s (JTS) rabbinical school curriculum includes sending second year students to study in Israel for the year. This was my third time going to Israel, but it was the first time I truly felt like I lived there. Most of our days were spent studying in the Beit Midrash (place to study) reading through our classical Jewish texts and watching the words on the page come to life. It was such an incredible feeling to engage with these ancient texts in the land that most of the ancient rabbis dreamed about journeying to someday. I felt a stronger connection to Judaism while I was studying in Israel. Maybe because Israel is alive with culture, history, religion, community and so much more.
Shearith Israel clergy, staff and congregants share