I’m happy to announce (after recovering from Thanksgiving) that rabbi school is done and I’ve been officially installed as the rabbi at Machar, the Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism.
As part of the graduation/ordination process, which occurred during Shabbat services on November 10, 2017 at the Birmingham Temple (the founding congregation of Humanistic Judaism), I gave a talk, which you can watch below:
The talks of three madrikhim/ot (a lay leadership/para-rabbinic leadership program) graduates, another rabbinical ordination, and a posthumous honorary ordination, can also be viewed.
The following weekend, I was installed at Machar. I gave a talk there, too, and if the video worked as planned, hopefully I’ll be able to post that, too.
It’s the end of the world as we know it!
Oh, so many things in the Jewish communal world to think about over the past week. Let’s tick them off, one at a time:
All the panic makes my heart just go pitter-pat. I don’t even know where to start. (The section titles here are from REM’s “It’s the End of the World (As We Know It),” so now you can learn some of the lyrics!)
Last week, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College announced a policy change, stating that they would no longer refuse admission to qualified rabbinical students who were married to or in long-term domestic relationships with individuals who are not Jewish. (Here’s the press release.) RRC was characterized as the first such institution to make a decision like this; I suppose this is true, since IISHJ, where I am a student, has never had a policy precluding admission of rabbinical students married to or in relationships with non-Jewish partners. So we’ll call RRC the first to rescind the prior, exclusivist policy.
This week, The Forward has run an editorial by its editor-in-chief, Jane Eisner, decrying RRC’s decision. Over in Humanistic Judaism World, we’ve had our fun poking at RRC for thinking itself first, and now at The Forward for getting bent out of shape. But I think it’s a good time to 1) blog again, and 2) actually address some of Eisner’s arguments, since Conservative and Reform clergy have started to make statements in support of Eisner’s missive. (Warning: logical fallacies are laid bare ahead. Also, if you think intermarriage is bad, you’re really not going to like what I have to say.)