Kol Nidre Sermon by Rabbi Dev Noily: “I Will Sing for People Who Might not Sing for Me”

When I was 12 or 13, I came home one day wearing my friend Steve Rogers’ necklace. It was a leather string with painted ceramic beads on it. And right in the middle, there was a simple metal cross. I knew I was over the line to wear that into my house. I knew it […]

Rosh Hashanah Morning Sermon by Jessica Shen-Wachter

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017 in High Holyday Sermons, Sermons | No Comments

As a Chinese American Jew, for as long as I can remember I have been passionate about social justice. I remember meeting with my principal as a fifth grader because I refused to be weighed as part of the statewide fitness test for I believed then, as I do now, that body size has nothing […]

“Tai: A Yom Kippur Sermon” by Aurora Levins Morales

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017 in High Holyday Sermons, Sermons | No Comments

  [The theme of Kehilla Community Synagogue’s High Holy Days was “spiritual audacity” drawn from these words by Abraham Joshua Heschel, written in 1963: “The hour calls for moral grandeur and spiritual audacity.”   The Torah portion preceding this sermon describes the scouts Moses sent into Caanan coming back to report that the people living there […]

High Holy Day Sermons 5777/2016

Our High Holy Day Sermons are now available to read online: Erev Rosh Hashana Sermon by Rabbi Dev Noily: “A River Goes Out From Eden” Rosh Hashana Sermon by Rabbi Avi Rose Kol Nidre Sermon by Rabbi David Cooper: “God, the Covenant, and the Inside-Outsider” Yom Kippur Reflection by Scott and Rose Gelfand Yom Kippur […]

Erev Rosh Hashana Sermon by Rabbi Dev Noily: “A River Goes Out From Eden”

I want to talk with you tonight about home. About what it means to have a home, to be pushed out of our home, and to long for home. These questions feel so urgent because so many people in the world are being forced to leave their homes­‐­‐by violence, and climate change, and simple greed. […]

Yom Kippur Sermon by Rabbi Burt Jacobson: “The Quest for Inner Freedom”

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the day of at-one-ment, is drawing toward its close. The inner and outer work of the Ten Days of Teshuvah is almost complete. And so at this time, as the sun is descending, I want to pose a question to each of you: Where will you go from here? […]

Rosh Hashanah Sermon by Rabbi Avi Rose

During the past year, I along with all of us, have been immersed in images of people fleeing, escaping war and persecution, crowding into barely habitable places where they aren’t welcome, casting their fate to flimsy boats crossing dangerous waters, crowding across borders, risking everything for an uncertain future. This is not a new story. […]

Yom Kippur Day Sermon 5776/2015 by Ruthie Levin

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in High Holyday Sermons, Sermons | No Comments

Withholding One’s Words When I read the theme in preparation for this year’s High Holiday Services it made me think about the words we say and do not say to one another. The theme made me think of the vitriolic discourse of our current presidential hopefuls, and it made me think of the hateful words […]

Yom Kippur Day Teaching 5776/2015 by Rabbi Burt Jacobson

Judging Others Israel Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of the 18th century Hasidic movement, was not only a mystic and a spiritual teacher; he was also a shamanic healer, and he would travel from town to town in southeastern Poland offering his services to people with physical or psychic ailments. His reputation was widespread and […]

Rosh Hashanah Day Sermon 5776/2015 by Howard Hamburger

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in High Holyday Sermons, Sermons | No Comments

Get comfortable; I’m going to talk for a little while. Later in the morning, Rabbi David will lead us in the Torah service; we’ll chant how the Torah describes the creation of the universe. Traditionally, we treat Rosh Hashanah as the birthday of the world, a day of beginnings. This year, our High Holiday theme […]