Archive

Evolving and Devolving

Written for Kristallnacht (November 9-10, 2019) and Veteran’s Day (November 11, 2019) Language evolves. Research evolves. Learning evolves. We have been told to expand our language. November 9-10, 1938, was called Kristallnacht – a night of broken glass. Today...

On this holy day, a confessional for all

[Published as an Op-Ed in the Charlotte Observer on Yom Kippur, October 9, 2019] Tonight starts Yom Kippur – a time that Jews across the globe spend in fasting, prayer, and atonement. For 25 hours, we acknowledge and repent of our personal wrongdoing, as well as the...

9/11 – Where do we find faith?

[A reflection for a faculty meeting at Queens University of Charlotte.] Today is 9/11. Our Freshman were born the year of the 9/11 tragedy. Our sophomores, juniors and seniors were toddlers. Our traditional undergrads were born into a world where planes were hijacked,...

El Paso, Dayton, your town, my town

El Paso, Dayton,your town, my town. The El Paso Del Sol Trauma Medical Director said:“It was a long night and long day.” I would add –it has been a long year.Dayton marks the 250th U.S. mass shooting in 2019. In El Paso, the chain of healing started at the...

People plan. God laughs.

[Delivered at Mt. Olive Presbyterian Church, July 14, 2019 & Temple Beth El, July 19, 2019. Based on Parashat Balak and Haftarah on Micah.] “Der mensch tracht, un gott lacht – Man plans and God laughs.” There’s a Yiddush expression: “Der Mensch...

Clergy, Moral Courage, and Reproductive Rights

Being clergy calls for moral courage and being a voice for those who are voiceless. Women facing one of the most painful life decisions of choosing to terminate a pregnancy need religious leaders who support a woman’s right to choose to be a voice for them. Last...

What are we teaching our children?

“Say No to HB 370” Press Conference & Interfaith Clergy Rally to Protect our Immigrant Neighbors We stand here today not as politicians but as religious leaders – committed to faith, committed to the faithful, committed to the oppressed, committed to...

Hate is strong, we are far stronger

Another sacred day. Another sacred space. Another assault rifle in the hands of a hater shattering our sanctuary, shattering our time of sanctity, and our sense of safety. Schools. Houses of worship. Lockdowns. Sirens. Synagogues. Death. Silence. Sadness. A sense of...

Getting Lost in the Logistics of Passover and Finding Our Way Forward

In preparing for Passover it is so easy to get lost in the logistics – the guest list and the table settings, the matzah and the menu. The seder is such an elaborate meal. The Shabbat before Pesach calls us to plan ahead with intention. This coming Shabbat has a...

Charlotte Talks: Unity Among Different Faiths

Honored to be on Charlotte Talks this morning with capable and passionate partners in dialogue. The topic was antisemitism and Islamophobia. Imam John Ederer, Imam, Muslim Community Center Charlotte Naqash Choudhery, director of outreach, Islamic Society of...

The Holocaust – what day should we remember?

Most of us do not know the precise day our relatives were murdered. We are thus left with an empty calendar. What day should we choose to remember them? Perhaps the summer’s 9th of Av, the Jewish people’s historic day of tragedy. On this day we mourn the exiles, the...

Thanksgiving – a simple concept and a complex equation

On one hand, Thanksgiving is a simple concept. It is a day beautiful in its simplicity. Its centerpiece is simply a meal. It belongs not to one faith but to all Americans. No religious services are required. No complex liturgies are recited. On the other hand,...

Our greatest fears realized…

Our greatest fears realized. Our greatest fears so terrorizing that we never utter them out loud. What if during our prayers, during our simchas (our celebrations), during our Sabbath morning Torah study This morning our greatest fears were put into words not as a ...

So why do we fast on Yom Kippur?

To follow in the footsteps of our parents and grandparents. To affirm our connection with our community and our people. To afflict our souls. To be moved to repentance. To show our piety. To challenge ourselves so we know that we are not dependent on food alone. To...

Rosh Hashanah – The Birthday of Humanity

Tonight, with the sun’s setting, a new Jewish Year will be born. While we tell our children it is the birthday of the world, it is really a celebration of the birthday of humanity. Rosh Hanashanah celebrates the day on which the first human beings were created in the...

Time Flies – A Prayer for the New Academic Year

Time flies… the older we get the swifter its pace seems to be. Time flies… so fast that we can miss the remarkable moments only appreciating them in our memories once they are gone. Author of time, help us to appreciate the time we have. Help us to celebrate the...

To Whom am I Accountable? The Answer I Found in Treblinka

It was the final day of a two-week journey to explore the Holocaust, a trip filled with long days of study, long drives, and long hours in concentration camps and death camps. I was with fifteen other Holocaust educators learning about Holocaust history, about best...

Being a parent is not easy

[This talk was given on May 15, 2018 for the Florence Crittenton Services Luncheon.] This past Sunday was Mother’s Day.  Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are mothers in this Hall. Today we celebrate the mothers of Florence Crittenton. In Jewish homes, mothers are...

A prayer for the people of the land

by Rabbi Judy Schindler and Rabbi Micah Streiffer As Jews, today we celebrate the anniversary of the secular date on which Israel’s Independence was declared, May 14, 1948. On this day, seven decades ago, a modern day miracle was born. On this day, our people danced...

The Beloved Community

It was an honor to reflect on the meaning of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Beloved Community as I entered into conversation with The Reverend Chip Edens at Christ Church in Charlotte on what it means to be Jewish in a Christian world. Clik here to view the...

Social Justice Readings for Your Passover Seder

Click here for printable Passover seder supplement The Four Children Who Survived Mass Shootings The student of Columbine, who witnessed the 1999 massacre in his high school asks: “How could such evil happen in the hallways of my school?” The Virginia Tech college...

May our kids live & my Parkland Shabbat morning worship

This Shabbat, my family and I felt called to “pray with our legs” and attend the closest March For Our Lives. The march closest to where we were staying (while making a grandparent visit) happened to be in Parkland itself. The liturgy of my morning prayers was shared...

Sacred Aging Podcast – A Conversation on Social Justice

In the first half of this week’s Jewish Sacred Aging Radio show, Rabbi Address chats with Rabbi Judy Schindler, Director of the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University of Charlotte and Sklut professor of Jewish Studies there, and Judy...

Courageous Leadership

In this episode of On the Other Hand, Rabbi Jacobs talks with Rabbi Judy Schindler.  They discuss Parashat Yitro, expanding the tent of Jewish life, the legacy passed down by her father, social justice activism, and Rabbi Schindler’s book Recharging Judaism. ...

WFAE Charlotte Talks: The Science Behind Political Organizing

By Ryan McFadin This past weekend saw the second women’s march in Charlotte with about 5,000 people filling the streets. That work was the work of organizers. This is difficult work, a fact sometimes overlooked even by those who advocate for change. Mike talks with...

Marching is not enough; women need a movement

[From the Charlotte Observer, January 17, 2018. Rabbi Schindler is a Contributing Editor for the Observer Editorial Board.] “Close your eyes – take a minute to imagine a world four years in the future – in 2021 – one in which our movement has won.” Last year, Donald...

New Book Network Podcast on Recharging Judaism

New Books Network is a podcast dedicated to raising the level of public discourse by introducing serious authors to a wide public.   In this episode, Daveeda Goldberg, a PhD candidate in the Department of Humanities at York University, in Toronto, Canada, interviews...

President Trump makes right call, in the wrong way, on Jerusalem

[From the Charlotte Observer, December 8, 2017. Rabbi Schindler is a Contributing Editor for the Observer Editorial Board.] I love Jerusalem. It has been part of my life for 36 years, from the time I was a high school student there. I would visit my father, a global...

Zionism and social justice: can they co-exist?

[From the Charlotte Observer, November 23, 2017. Rabbi Schindler is a Contributing Editor for the Observer Editorial Board. Photo by Miriam Alster.] I am a Rabbi. I am a social justice activist. I am a Zionist, meaning I support Israel as a sovereign Jewish and...

Something Worth Fighting For

[Delivered at Stateseville Avenue Presbyterian Church, November 12, 2017. Based on Isaiah 2:4.] As this is Veteran’s Day weekend, I thought I’d open with a cute story about a little boy who was in a synagogue sitting outside the sanctuary staring at the memorial...

Democracy is not a Spectator Sport

When Jeremiah the prophet preached 2600 years ago, he enjoined his fellow Jews who were exiled to Babylon to get engaged with their community, “Seek the peace of the city to which I have caused you to be in exile… for in its shalom, you shall find shalom.”...

Women, the Bedroom, the Workplace, and the Government

[From the Charlotte Observer, October 23, 2017. Rabbi Schindler is a Contributing Editor for the Observer Editorial Board] What happens in the bedroom is meant to stay in the bedroom. That is why most women do not talk publicly about the personal and private issue of...

To my fellow clergy: I know it’s hard, but do more

From the Charlotte Observer, September 28, 2017 Rabbi Schindler is a Contributing Editor I admire your work. I was a congregational rabbi for more than 20 years. I know that leading a faith community requires strength – physical strength to support a flock for whom...

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...