Breaking Down the Barriers

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Announcements, Rabbi David's Blog | 2 Comments

by Rabbi David J. Cooper In Eugene Ionesco’s play, Rhinoceros, a man notices that mysteriously one-by-one people around him are turning into rhinoceroses, and they do not notice that this is happening, and neither do most of the people around them who will shortly become rhinoceroses themselves. The play is a metaphor, and it captures […]

Our Wall of History: Dedication at our Hanukkah Party on December 12

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Announcements, Rabbi David's Blog | No Comments

by Rabbi David J. Cooper [At our Chanukah party on December 12 we are “ribbon cutting” the amazing Kehilla History Wall in our social hall and honoring the folks who made it happen.] The board of directors was pondering how to celebrate Kehilla’s 30th. This was more than two years ago. Board member Susan Freundlich […]

My Intifada Thoughts

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Rabbi David's Blog | No Comments

by Rabbi David J. Cooper, October 2015 As I write this, I am watching events in the West Bank that sadly I have been expecting for a while now. Resistance, both non-violent and otherwise, is ramping up against the Occupation. As a rabbi, I am supposed to condemn violence, and I do, but more than […]

The Faith Trio: Now Marching for the Earth on Our 10th

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in Announcements, Rabbi David's Blog | No Comments

by Rabbi David J. Cooper Jews, Muslims and Christians marching for climate sanity under a banner together. You can watch that on Shabbat morning, November 21. Hey! Don’t just watch; join us! (Gather at 10am at the Lake Merritt Amphitheatre at the Faith Trio banner (near 12th Street and Lake Merritt Boulevard). It makes sense […]

Kol Nidre Sermon 5775/2015 by Rabbi David J. Cooper

Shibboleth Words, Labels, “Commonsense” & Resistance During these Holy Days we have examined the power of words as part of our spiritual journey. Tonight I want to examine that the way we use words and hear words connects to our politics and to our values. I want to consider that words can mean so much […]

Report Back on Israel/Palestine Survey: Agreement on Values; Diversity in Tactics and Solutions  

by Rabbi David   ~Our High Holy Day Theme: Speak!  The Power of our Words~ The Jewish tradition from its early beginnings was built on words even more than on edifices of stone and brick. Words are powerful. How we choose what to say and what not to say is an accurate reflection of what […]

The Ubuntu Moment

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Announcements, Rabbi David's Blog | No Comments

by Rabbi David J. Cooper [August 15 Chai Shabbat is also an “Ubuntu” Shabbat. But what is Ubuntu?]      Ubuntu is a bantu word from southern Africa. It defies simple translation. Of course since ntu means human, and ubu transforms a noun into an abstraction, one is tempted to say that it simply means “humanity.” […]

Weighing Our Words: Thoughts on the High Holyday Theme

by Rabbi David J. Cooper Every High Holydays we sing Mi Ha-Ish (from Psalm 34:13-14), a simple prayer that asks nothing but is, rather, advice on living well. Some early rabbis considered it the distilled essence of the Torah: Who is one who desires life, savoring each day, and seeking goodness? So guard your tongue […]

The Synagogue Turns A Corner: An Invitation to Kehilla’s May 3rd Community Meeting

From Rabbi David, Michael Saxe-Taller, Executive Director, and Lynn Bravewomon, Board Co-Chair This is a special moment in the life of our congregation. We have emerged from a somewhat shaky interim period and are on solid footing with a full permanent staff for the first time in two years. This means that we can now […]

Some Reflections in the Wake of the Israeli Elections

by Rabbi David J. Cooper I write this the morning after the Israeli elections. Some part of me felt that, to some degree, it wouldn’t make much of a difference whether Herzog and Livni won, or whether Netanyahu won (except for the schadenfreude I hoped to experience on Netanyahu’s defeat). But now in the wake […]