Election Aftermath Tests Alternative Synagogues

Election Aftermath Tests
Alternative Synagogues

Strength of year-old Jewish Emergent Network
faces challenge amid ‘national awakening’ after vote.

Two months after beginning a rabbinic fellowship sponsored by the Jewish Emergent Network, a collaboration between seven unconventional communities around the country rethinking Jewish engagement, Rabbi Kerry Chaplin found herself swaying arm in arm with hundreds of others at a Havdalah ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial.

It was the weekend after the election results and the seven newly instated rabbinic fellows were in Washington, D.C., for one of the fellowship’s seven retreats. Though the Havdalah ceremony h Continue reading

Why I’m Saying No, for Now, to Love: An Open Letter from Amichai

Dear Lab/Shul Community,

I’m writing this letter to you all mid-air today, on my way to Israel for three weeks, looking forward to quality time with family and friends. I’ve gone pescatarian so no turkey, but this is a precious opportunity to be with loved ones sharing gratitude for all our blessings, even those that come, at times, as challenges. 

The main purpose of my trip is focused research and writing on a topic that’s much on my mind and on the minds of many: new models for more sensitive integration of multi-faith families within our community and the greater Jewish world. 

I’d like to share with you a bit about this research project, with some news about this topic as it relates to my rabbinate, and an invitation for Continue reading

Backyard, for Now: Post Election Reflection from Amichai (Hebrew)

Stay tuned – English translation coming soon. בינתיים בחצר האחורית: תגובה אישית לבחירתו של טראמפ הרב עמיחי לאו-לביא בליל הבחירות מצאתי את עצמי בחצר האחורית של הבית הגדול בעיר קולומבוס שבאוהיו, תחת עץ גדול ושמים גשומים. בתוך הבית, צמודים למסך, … Continue reading

Today, Together, We Lean In


I spent most of last night under the trees in a backyard in the middle of Columbus Ohio where a large group of Hillary volunteers from all over the country were gathering. As the screen got redder I spent more and more time out back. And then more joined me, and we stood quietly, and hugged, and at some point made up pleas and prayers. We were strangers in a strange land, but for a brief time in that backyard we were stronger and hopeful, and we were together.

We are all responding in our own way to this election: anger, blame, disbelief, silence, fear. For others, exalted. For me, there is a welling up, a need for backyard belonging. No matter your response, we are love-bound to care for one another. The time will certainly come for front line action, with wisdom and power.

Continue reading