The Jewish Roots of Kehilla’s Values: Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Part 2

by Rabbi Burt Jacobson When I first met Rabbi Zalman Schachter in the mid-1960s he certainly looked like an orthodox Jew, sporting a beard and sidelocks, and dressed in black. But even with his loyalty to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and his strict adherence to Jewish law, he was not a conventional hasid. In subsequent years […]

The Jewish Roots of Kehilla’s Values: Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Part 1

by Rabbi Burt Jacobson In these monthly articles I have been offering readers some background history on the Jewish sources of the values and ideals that motivated me to develop the vision that became Kehilla Community Synagogue. In this six-part series, I turn to the legacy of Reb Zalman for our community. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi […]

The Jewish Roots of Kehilla’s Values: Martin Buber, Part 4

by Rabbi Burt Jacobson Martin Buber’s parents divorced when he was quite young, and he grew up living on a farm with his paternal grandparents. The boy would also visit and spend time with his father. One time his father took him to a small Hasidic synagogue for worship on the Sabbath, and there he […]

The Jewish Roots of Kehilla’s Values: Martin Buber, Part 3

by Rabbi Burt Jacobson I became aware of Martin Buber’s views about Zionism and Israel during the 1970s, and since that time his spiritual/political approach to these thorny issues has been central to my own understanding of Jewish nationalism. I adopted a version of Buber’s outlook when I was formulating the original vision for Kehilla […]

The Jewish Roots of Kehilla’s Values: Martin Buber, Part 2

by Rabbi Burt Jacobson I spent my junior year in Israel in 1964-65, and one of my teachers was Martin Buber’s closest friend, Ernst Simon. Prof. Simon had arranged for us to meet with Buber, but before this could take place, Buber became ill and died. Yet even though I never met him personally, Buber’s […]

The Jewish Roots of Kehilla’s Values: Martin Buber, Part 1

by Rabbi Burt Jacobson In this series of articles I offer readers some background history on the Jewish sources of the values and ideals that motivated me to develop the vision that became Kehilla Community Synagogue. Past installments focused on the life and thought of Abraham Joshua Heschel. In this four-part series, I turn to […]

Epiphany on the San Rafael Bridge

by Rabbi Burt Jacobson For the last few years my wife Diane and I have lived in El Sobrante, California, about eight miles north of Berkeley. I was recently asked to give a presentation about the teachings of the Ba’al Shem Tov at a synagogue in Marin county on a particular Shabbat afternoon. I was excited by the […]

The Jewish Roots of Kehilla’s Values: Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Part 4

by Rabbi Burt Jacobson When Abraham Joshua Heschel arrived in the U.S. in 1940 from war-torn Europe, he was determined to write a book on the Ba’al Shem Tov. My teacher had lost most of his family in Poland and during that bleak time he deeply needed to connect with the hopeful spirit of the […]

Hope in a Challenging Time

by Rabbi Burt Jacobson I offered the following message about hope at this year’s community seder, and I wanted to share it with the entire community. Having grown up during the Holocaust I tend to be pessimistic. Had I been one of the Israelite slaves in ancient Egypt, I probably would have despaired at ever […]

The Jewish Roots of Kehilla’s Values: Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Part 2

Posted by on Mar 30, 2018 in Announcements, Rabbi Burt's Blog | No Comments

by Rabbi Burt Jacobson What were the Jewish origins of the spiritual and moral values that guided the fashioning of my vision of Kehilla Community Synagogue? Four prominent modern Jewish teachers influenced my life at crucial times during the 1960s, and the values I learned from them became vital to the founding of Kehilla. These […]