Archive

White Supremacy, Charlottesville, and Us

White supremacy is sometimes easy to identify.  Some who hold this ideology are aligned with groups we know well:  the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. Their presence is frightening. Intimidation is their way. They proclaim their presence boldly whether once draped in...

We can support – or shatter – young immigrants’ dreams

  Reprinted from the Charlotte Observer, August 2, 2017. Rabbi Schindler serves as Contributing Editor, the Observer editorial board. As educators we work to nurture our students’ dreams even as some state and federal leaders threaten to shatter them. Five years...

My Sabbath Prayers on the Anniversary of the Six-Day War

Fifty years ago today, Israel found itself fighting one of its most significant battles (second to its War of Independence). In the midst of increasing threats to its existence from adversaries on three of its four borders, and in light of increasing evidence of an...

Then and Now…

8 years ago today, the calls to help 937 Jewish refugees (mostly from Germany) fell on deaf ears as the transatlantic liner St. Louis was denied entry in Havana and sailed past Miami..

The Oppressed Stranger and a Reflection for your Seder Table

Reading Before the Lighting of the Festival Candles The seder is not a story of our past, it is our present. Sadly, the oppressed stranger was not left behind in the Exodus of Egypt, we see that soul each and every day: The refugee fleeing persecution in Syria, in...

The Failure of Ethics

This blog post was inspired by the lecture of Dr. John Roth, entitled “The Failures of Ethics: Comprehending Genocide and Atrocity” at the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University of Charlotte on March 2, 2017. Failures of ethics then —...

Finding Comfort in Charlotte’s Clergy Leadership

Times have been tough.  Sometimes when you stand up for others, you get knocked down yourself.  Thankfully, there are an abundance of strong and compassionate Charlotte leaders with whom we all can stand. At a MeckMin Clergy Council breakfast this morning, Imam John...

I thought wearing a hijab would be easy. I was wrong.

Special to the Charlotte Observer. When last week’s news of the burning mosque in Texas appeared on my Facebook feed, it came with a challenge: “Rabbi Schindler, What can we do to help?” When I consulted several Muslim leaders in Charlotte, Rose Hamid of Muslim Women...

#Iamanupstander

In any act of oppression there are four players – a perpetrator, a victim, a bystander and an upstander. Take the pledge to speak out against hate every time you see it or hear it. Today, I speak out against the islamophobia and xenophobia behind Friday’s...

Dear President Trump

Dear President Trump, I was named for a woman of prayer, a rabbi’s wife, a woman of faith named Judy who was murdered in Auschwitz. Our country’s doors were then closed by fear of the other, of potential threats, and of having to share. We seemed to be a country of...

Shattered Shards and Two Americas

Invocation delivered at the Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast Charlotte, North Carolina The mystics of Judaism teach about the concept of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. You see, when God created the world there was only God and only God’s light. To make...

A Rare Alignment: Chanukah & Christmas

Light in the midst of great darkness, a minority fighting for and attaining rights, celebrating religious freedom — these are the messages of the ancient Jewish holiday of Chanukah. “The triumph of life, goodness, and love over death, evil, and hate.” In the...

Listen

“The shortest distance between two people is a story…” so listen to multiple stories multiple voices multiple perspectives it is not a zero sum game your win is not my loss your belonging is not my alienation front pages front lines of a battle we can fight against...

Let Love Drive Out Hate – A Grassroots March in Charlotte

As you may know, a white supremacist group is marching in North Carolina next Saturday, December 3rd. Groups are marching for love across our state to say “no” to hate and divisiveness. Join us to ensure positive messages overshadow the negative that will emerge from...

Thanksgiving in Charlotte

I am thankful for… Our community’s children — who laugh and cry and play with abandon. Their smiles wipe away worries. Their voices give me hope. Our community’s diversity — The multiple languages spoken and the people of all backgrounds and faiths make...

We Pray for Our Nation and Its Leaders

In large part, I had a sleepless night. I am so tired of statistics and polls. 47.5% of Americans voted for Donald Trump 47.7% voted for Hillary Clinton. Yesterday polls said that if Trump became President 21% of Americans would be concerned 37% percent would be...

Elections 2016 – A Vow for the Day After

Beyond the fear beyond the demonization beyond the elections. E-pluribus Unum – from many, one One nation, many opinions One election, many voices One day on which the majority of votes will be cast and all votes will be counted. From many – an overwhelming...

Yom Kippur and the Paradox of Opening and Closing Doors

The gates of repentance are always open, Judaism teaches. Yet because we procrastinate…… Or close our eyes to our mistakes And to our mortality We have a timeframe. The gates are now open… The gates of repentance and forgiveness. Tomorrow evening, they...

Celebrate Two Birthdays: Ghandi’s and the World’s

Today is Gandhi’s birthday. Tonight, with the setting of the sun, will be Rosh Hashanah when Jews celebrate the birthday of the world and the birth of humankind. Gandhi taught: Non-violence requires a double faith, faith in God and also in man. The Jewish New Year...

Let This be Our Lowest Point

If you are white and living in Charlotte Please pick up the phone and call someone who is black or brown skinned or stop by their office at work or table at lunch and ask “how are you?” Listen, cry, learn and talk. That’s all you need to do today. If you are white and...

Help Me to See More Fully

“We each see the world differently from where we stand,” Rev. Dr. Dwayne Walker of Little Rock AME Zion Church shared earlier tonight as we sat as a small circle of interfaith clergy and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police in prayer and song. God, help me to see...

The Syrian Refugees and Germany: Not Their Story but Our Story

Each of us had different reasons for taking part in the Central Conference of American Rabbis Mission to Berlin. Among them were: We cared about the refugee crisis and wanted to learn so that we could share the story, engage our congregants and communities with this...

What If Jonathan Ferrell were my son?

What if Jonathan Ferrell were my son? That’s what I thought about when I stopped by the court room on the first day of the Kerrick trial. Jonathan – a 24 year old former Florida A&M University football player, an aspiring engineer, engaged to a beautiful woman....

How do we respond to tragedy?

With silence… There aren’t words to respond to someone with semi-automatic guns in hand murdering innocent souls en masse. With identification… As President Obama stated, “An attack on any American is an attack on all Americans.” People lost their sons and daughters,...

Education is The Most Amazing Gift

A decade ago, Oprah stayed as a guest in President Nelson Mandela’s home in South Africa for more than a week. After days of reflecting on the ideal gift to get him as a token of her gratitude, she came up with the perfect present. So what do you get such a great man...

Words Whisper from the Grave

Hearing the Words and Celebrating the Work of a Holocaust Hero The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer We must learn to regard people less in light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the...

Going Back to Egypt

[This homily was delivered at Charlotte’s Multi-faith Service Calling for the Repeal of HB2 on April 24, 2016 at Myers Park Baptist Church] We come together for a multi-faith service.   We all come from different faiths and some of us come from no formal religious...

Seeds of Change Sown in Charleston

[This homily was delivered at Charlotte’s Multi-faith Service Calling for the Repeal of HB2 on April 24, 2016 at Myers Park Baptist Church] We come together for a multi-faith service.   We all come from different faiths and some of us come from no formal religious...

Hebron: A City of Conflicting Narratives and Religious Passions

Genesis describes the purchase of property by our father Abraham for the burial of our mother Sarah. The legendary cave of Machpelah, acquired through negotiation with the Hittites, became the site not only of Sarah’s grave, but also of the reconciliation of Isaac and...

Thanksgiving: Make this Holiday Holy by Rabbi Judy Schindler

Thanks… for all I have Blessings too great to name and number freedom and food, shelter, love and life Giving… No material gifts are needed No shopping at malls is required for today’s celebration Just presence shared with those who matter most Joy of feeling blessed...

Pray for Faith by Rabbi Judy Schindler

Fear… of those filled with hate of violence of guns and terrorism. Faith… in the good in the “other” in the ability to uproot evil. Do not let fear close your hearts close your minds close your souls (or close your borders to refugees seeking sanctuary – for we were...