Signs of Hope from the American Jewish Community

Signs of Hope from the American Jewish Community May 12, 2010

Dear friends and loyal subscribers,

I have not dropped off the earth! In fact, I have been spending a lot of time traveling across it, and that, along with the press of several writing projects, has kept me from posting. I see that I need to find a way to stay current with the blog even when my schedule is overloaded.  I have been resisting the impulse to use the blog to forward items that I think are important, but perhaps I should stop resisting — every blog does not have to represent hours of my own writing.

In any case, I want to bring you up to date and alert you to some news from the Jewish community that has captured my attention recently .  My travels have included presentations at Friends of Sabeel North America conferences in Seattle, Honolulu and Marin County CA,  speaking engagements in the Chicago area, a week in eastern and central Iowa including three days in Dubuque meeting with students and faculty at Wartburg Seminary and meeting with local clergy and community members, and an upcoming trip to North Carolina. There has also been much preaching — you can find the sermons on my website.  I will be traveling to Lebanon late in May to present a paper on Theology of the Land at a World Council of Churches conference, “The People of God in Bible and Tradition: Semantic Implications and Modern Relevance” (this is the current research and writing that has grabbed much of my energy in between travel and speaking).

I will try to stay more current with you!  In the meantime, I want to share four pieces of writing that have warmed me, encouraged me.  There is a growing consciousness, an deepening awareness of our peril, and, increasingly, the willingness to speak. Three come from the American Jewish community and one from the Jews of Jerusalem. The first is a letter from 30 American rabbis addressed to Judge Goldstone.  The second is a public letter from San Francisco academics, writers and artists in response to the San Francisco Jewish Federation’s recent attempt to silence debate about the Israel-Palestine conflict inside the American Jewish community.  The third is a letter from 100 Jewish Jerusalemites, including writers, artists, activists, and rabbis, to Eli Wiesel. The fourth, from Rabbi Brant Rosen’s blog, is an exchange between Brant and a friend who lives in Israel. As usual, Brant does a wonderful job of articulating his struggle with the reality of modern Israel. His wisdom and integrity is a gift that I want to share with you.

Rabbis’ letter to Judge Richard Goldstone

Prominent Bay Area Jews Warn About SF Jewish Federation Guidelines

Jerusalemites’ response to Eli Wiesel

Brant’s blog

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