Is the Jewish Community a Mean Girl?

“The organized Jewish community is nothing more than the mean girls from high school.” What?! I think I literally stopped breathing for a moment. Could it be true? I knew this lovely person across from me believed what she was saying. So I wondered, “Could this community that brings me so much joy and comfort […]

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#WelcomeWaffleWednesday

For the past couple months, as I’ve settled into our office space at the San Francisco Federation building on Steuart Street, I’ve been surprised by how few Federation employees knew where we were. Since InterfaithFamily is an organization of welcoming and love, I decided this needed to change. We began by re-envisioning our space. Where […]

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Who Will Marry Us?

You have chosen the date, the place, the guest list. But who will officiate at your ceremony? A family member? Friend? Clergy person? Justice of the peace? A celebrant? Asking friends or relatives to officiate at wedding ceremonies is a relatively recent phenomenon with numbers rising in just the last decade with the advent of […]

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Five Lessons for Couples from The Big Bang Theory

Two of the hit TV show The Big Bang Theory’s main characters, Howard and Bernadette, announced that they are having a baby. Mere moments after hearing the news, the father-to-be was fretting about how they would raise their child since they come from different religious backgrounds. “How’s this all going to work? You’re Catholic, I’m […]

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My Mom and Her Hanukkah Angels

When I was growing up, my parents threw the most elegant Hanukkah parties. My mom is a decorator at her core and relished the opportunity to throw a party with pizazz. There was fancy juice for the kids, our best dresses and most of all, a gorgeously decorated house. Down the bannister streamed a garland she would […]

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When sacred text hurts others, how do we apologize?

This essay was reprinted with permission from J. Weekly. Earlier this month I was the rabbi at the Fellowship for Affirming Ministries’ biennial conference at City of Refuge Church in Oakland. I was invited to blow the shofar for the new Hebrew month of Av, and I lit candles to usher in Shabbat before the […]

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How to Be Good People … Together

Kurt Vonnegut wrote in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: “Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—’God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’” […]

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Let’s Celebrate Fellow Travelers on Shavuot

This post is based on an article by Rabbi Copeland that originally appeared on jweekly.com There have always been Jews-by-association. Nowadays this term, JBA for short, is becoming well known as a catch-all category for people who hang out with Jews, including people who gravitate toward Judaism, have many Jewish friends, or are partnered with […]

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Walk The Talk: Parenting as a Role Model

My kid taught me a good lesson today. I was pulling out of our driveway as the usual flood of people were walking by, oblivious to my own tight morning schedule. I muttered to myself how they should be paying attention to the cars rather than being engrossed in their conversations and that I had […]

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Who Gets to Criticize Your Religion?

I remember the day I introduced our kids to The Prince of Egypt.  I loved this movie, and I was excited to be sharing it with them. Then my partner entered the living room: “How can we teach our kids these stories?!” The slavery, the plagues, and worse, God as a killer of babies. Suddenly, […]

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