Second Annual Pride Month Recognition

Thank you, District Attorney Walsh, for this honor and your very generous tribute. I’m quite moved and a little bit verklempt. I’m struck that a gathering like ours today couldn’t happen 20 years ago. It couldn’t happen 15 years ago when I worked on the Court of Appeals Hernandez v Robles case, which held, as… Continue reading Second Annual Pride Month Recognition


36 to Watch

BIG NEWS I'm verklempt to join breathtakingly cool colleagues among this year's "36 to Watch" in Jewish life. I'm moved and awed by the group's collective contributions to smashing ceilings, visioning futures, reinventing institutions, transforming cultures, forging paths, healing brokenness and leading communities. Joining the likes of NY State Senator Anna M. Kaplan, NYC Council… Continue reading 36 to Watch

Judicial · Other places

What Would Thurgood Do?

Today I was privileged to join colleagues of the bar, bench, pulpit and social justice community to dedicate a monument to the life and legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall. Especially in this era of faction and fissure, I was grateful that Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Jews and Gentiles – truly a sea of… Continue reading What Would Thurgood Do?


Yom Kippur 2021: Our Forwarding Address

Gut yontif on this Yom Kippur day of transformation.  This year’s High Holy Day themes of strength, resilience, courage and daring all flow into today, when we can lift our lives – perhaps in just an instant – if only we’ll take the leap. Last Yom Kippur, I quoted mysticism scholar Gershom Scholem, who called days like today “plastic” times… Continue reading Yom Kippur 2021: Our Forwarding Address


Rosh Hashanah 5782: Mustaches and Moral Injuries – Resilience in Divisive Times

Shanah tovah.  I hope your 5782 is dawning bright and strong. Last night we introduced our theme of strength (gevurah) – wise structure, healthy boundaries and moral direction.  Gevurah calibrates impulses, sees better worlds out of turmoil and chaos, and even can transform walls into springboards.  As we saw in last night’s tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, gevurah can power our reach… Continue reading Rosh Hashanah 5782: Mustaches and Moral Injuries – Resilience in Divisive Times


Stronger Together: Erev Rosh Hashanah 5782

Shanah tovah!  Welcome to the High Holy Days 5782. May they bring sweet goodness and health for us, our loved ones and our world. All of us here tonight lived through 5781, a year like no other. We all lived it — pandemic, climate change, racial reckoning, economic and political spasms, technological shifts and more.  We saw… Continue reading Stronger Together: Erev Rosh Hashanah 5782

Bayit · prayers / poems

Our Mourning Year – at Bayit

New from Bayit’s Liturgical Arts Working Group comes this collaborative compilation of liturgy, poetry and art for this Tisha b’Av. Here are poems, prayers, artwork, and readings for Tisha b’Av 2021, looking back on the last pandemic year as we sit with what’s broken and nurture the seeds of hope for repair. This offering is organized through… Continue reading Our Mourning Year – at Bayit

Other places

“Show Me Your Way:” the Trans Microcosm of Spiritual Allyship

“Andy” sent a spiritual autobiography of four pages, a shimmeringly honest reflection on Andy’s emotional and spiritual life; birth family and chosen family, loves and losses, belief and disbelief, hope and yearning. Its treatment of gender identity spanned 10 pivotal words: “I’m trans of [gender] experience and completed transition some years ago.” I sat in… Continue reading “Show Me Your Way:” the Trans Microcosm of Spiritual Allyship

Bayit · prayers / poems

The Lot of One Year: Liturgy, Poetry, and Art for Purim

New from Bayit’s Liturgical Arts Working Group comes a collection of poems, prayers, and artwork for this pandemic Purim. Here are meditations on (the) last Purim, and on our many-layered losses; poems on our world turning upside-down, on what our masks reveal, on grief and playfulness, on Esther and on Zeresh, on vengeance and its… Continue reading The Lot of One Year: Liturgy, Poetry, and Art for Purim

Bayit · prayers / poems

Connections: New Liturgy for Tu BiShvat

An interdisciplinary and pluralist collection of new work for Tu BiShvat, the New Year of the Trees: “TU biShvat is an invitation to focus on the natural world surrounding us–and at the same time, it makes us aware of our connectedness to each other, to the flow of time and stories, to the flow of cyclical renewal,… Continue reading Connections: New Liturgy for Tu BiShvat

prayers / poems

Great Miracles Happen Here

This new collaborative offering from Bayit’s liturgical arts working group comes to bring light in dark times. Here you’ll find new liturgy (including an “Al HaNisim” looking back on the miracles we haven’t yet lived into being, and a “Hanerot Hallalu” for this pandemic year), evocative poetry (on finding light without a chanukiyah, on kindling lights alone,… Continue reading Great Miracles Happen Here

Other places

For National Havdalah of Reconciliation

For video of this teaching, see the videos page. "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." If something in these familiar words felt missing, it's because Congress amended this original version of the… Continue reading For National Havdalah of Reconciliation


This Plastic Hour: Love’s Forward Memory We Need Now

Yom Kippur Morning 5781 Gut yontif on this Yom Kippur of loving connection, courage, vulnerability and forgiveness.  These "love" themes of our High Holy Day journey all flow into this poignant day when Jewish wisdom urges that we can change our lives in just a day if we'll take that inner loving leap. Modern mysticism… Continue reading This Plastic Hour: Love’s Forward Memory We Need Now

Academy for Jewish Religion

Tomorrow’s Giants On Our Shoulders

A D’var Torah for Parashat Nitzavim-Vayeilekh We stand on the shoulders of giants. Much that we have, much that we are becoming, are harvests of trees our ancestors planted. We inherit their shalshelet – their spiritual and practical causation both wise and unwise, healthy and not – along with what they received from their ancestry. Legacy courses… Continue reading Tomorrow’s Giants On Our Shoulders

Academy for Jewish Religion

Into and Through Tisha b’Av: Our Fragile Alchemy of “Why”

There’s gotta be a reason. What’s happening now must be a reaction to something that came before. Someone must be responsible: maybe me, maybe you, maybe all of us. Any God that is good and fair must have some purpose in all this – right? We sense this yearning for “why” just under the surface. After all,… Continue reading Into and Through Tisha b’Av: Our Fragile Alchemy of “Why”

Bayit · Sermons

The Mishkan’s Next Digital (R)Evolution

Reb Zalman Memorial Shabbaton 2020 June 13, 2020 • 21 Sivan 5780 מה נורא המקום הזה How awesome is this body! How awesome is this place! How awesome is this journey Through time and space. (Chant by Rav Kohenet Taya Mâ Shere.) Shabbat shalom to all of us together במקום נורא הזה / in this awesome… Continue reading The Mishkan’s Next Digital (R)Evolution