Archive

Corona and the art of patience – a Mussar teaching for today

In my family we have an ongoing joke. We stopped calling days Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday and so on, we just call it “day.” While thankfully, my family is able to teach and study and work as part of our daily routines, still the monotony of being in severely limited...

We are one – writing our Corona legacy

We are writing our collective Corona legacy. Foremost among all teachings will be that we are one as a world. Today we are one. We are one in our appreciation for shelter to shelter in place, for food that sustains us, and technology that connects us. We are one in...

Where do you find light in the darkness?

Jewish mystics teach us to lift up the shattered shards of our world in order to bring healing. Each time we encounter darkness – the darkness of headlines or the darkness on social media or the darkness of despair that some might be feeling, we need to do our...

Sacrifices Large and Small – Day 12

Sacrifices stand at the center. Sacrifices are at the center of the Five Books of Moses.  This week, the Jewish world opens Leviticus, the middle book of the Torah, and reads of the sacrifices that Moses called the Israelites to offer as they stood at Mt. Sinai....

Darkness and Light – Day 11

As the virus progresses globally, the darkness become greater. The news raises the volume on despair. According to Jewish mysticism, with the world’s creation came a shattering of vessels containing God’s light. Shards scattered everywhere, hidden for later...

How? Lamentation for your city and mine

[The Book of Lamentations is read on Tisha B’av – the day on which the First and Second Temple in Jerusalem were destroyed.  The texts in italics are quotes from the Hebrew Bible.] How deserted is the city, so once full of people!  (Lamentations 1:1) The stores...

Mother’s Day in England & honoring parents in the era of Corona

Honoring our parents is one of the most important commandments in Judaism. The sages put it on par with honoring the Divine. No matter how much we do for our mothers and fathers, it is a commandment that can never be completely fulfilled. When we are young, it is a...

The Real Me

Without hair color, our age will be shown. Without a uniform of suits heading to work, our everyday garb will be revealed. Without daily routines of shaving, mens’ beards will be increasing. No manicures, no pedicures, no haircuts — real nails and unstyled...

Moving to mobilization – are you in?

It has become clear that we need a campaign to support our healthcare workers in their war on Corona. They are on the frontlines fighting the war on Covid-19 and do not have what they need to keep themselves, their families, or their patients safe. Gloves, masks, eye...

Simplicity – Full Stop

We hesitate to reflect on silver linings, fearful of what tomorrow might bring. We appreciate the simplicity of today, recognizing the ways in which we have been held in bondage by our busyness and weighed down by our materials. The swift pace of our lives led us to...

The Coronathon – the marathon we did not sign up for

We are at the start of a marathon for which we had no prep and no training. Some of us don’t run. Some of us can’t run. Some of us don’t want to run. But all of us are in it. The horn was sounded and off we go. Here are some lessons from marathon runners to guide us:...

A prayer for our American healthcare heroes

To our neighbors, friends, and community members who are healthcare workers, Thank you… For leaving your home in a time of social distancing. For doing your sacred work of healing. For subduing your inevitable fears to do your job. For your minds that find treatments....

A new place, a new time, a new way

We are in a new place… one we have never known. A wave of a threatening virus is sweeping across our globe. Disrupting – lives, economies, livelihoods. Disordering dreamed of moments – academic experiences for all ages from field trips to the zoo to study...

Celebrating Jewish Earth Day here and there

As a child, on our Jewish Earth Day called Tu Bishvat, my peers and I would buy trees to plant in Israel. As I grew into a young adulthood, we’d have Tu Bishvat seders. Exploring Jewish mysticism, we’d eat the fruits and drink the wines of Israel – four cups...

Three Freedom Songs – A Jewish Take on Liberation

Delivered at Temple Beth El, January 10, 2020 It feels good to be here on this bima. I love this place. We are blessed with incredibly talented clergy: Rabbi Knight, Rabbi Klass and Cantor Thomas. They have great voices – voices of wisdom, voices of kindness, they...

So today is Jewish and Proud Day…

When I learned that today was Jewish and proud day, it struck me as odd. When I stopped to think about it, for me every day is Jewish and proud day. I am proud that our heritage serves as the foundation for the Christian and Muslim faiths who represent billions of...

Never and Again – This time an attack on a home Chanukah Party

We pray “never again” in response to the violent escalation of antisemitism or any hate and yet it is happening again and again. In the summer of 2018, I began my studies for a doctoral program at the Hebrew Union College.  In a course for my major in American Jewish...

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...