It’s a perennial question for modern American Jews. To explore and answer the question for yourself, join us in June and July for very special study and Kol Ami Book Club sessions as we dive deep into our Jewish identities and our shared identity as Congregation Kol Ami. Our touchstone for the journey is the probing new book The Jewish American Paradox: Embracing Choice in a Changing World by Robert Mnookin, which explores past frameworks for Jewish identity and suggests how progressive Jews can forge a new definition for inclusion in Jewish communal life. Discussion of the book is spread over three educational moments. 7Read More →

Of the many human rights/justice issues with which I am concerned, nothing should resonate more strongly for us as Jews than seeking an open, compassionate immigration policy. The stories of present day asylum seekers coming from Central America, Southern Mexico and elsewhere in the world have, in the past, been our Jewish stories. If we cannot connect with and feel empathy for present-day asylum seekers than we have lost a sense of who we are and our most deeply held Jewish values; do not oppress the stranger/love the stranger for we were strangers in the land of Egypt. That is why I decided to toRead More →

By Andreas Trepte – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link We at Kol Ami are excited about a new regular event involving Rabbi Doug. It began as “Coffee with the Rabbi” but then needed a new name because it will be evenly split between meetings in the morning (with coffee, for instance) and meetings in the evening (with cocktails, for instance). The name is… Kibb_tz with the Rabbi! But in some places it’s been advertised as “Kibbitz with the Rabbi” and in others “Kibbutz with the Rabbi”. What’s the difference? Why? Some of us are most familiar with a kibbutz being a collectivized farming community,Read More →

Discovering Jewish Meditation Kol Ami’s music director, Lara Steinel, has been meditating daily since October 10, 1999. If you ask her about it, she’ll not only tell you why she knows the exact date she started, but also she’ll light up as she explains how meditating has enhanced her life, her health, and her practice of Judaism. Following the enthusiastic attendance and reception of Kol Ami’s meditation service last Yom Kippur, Lara will offer Jewish meditation sessions at All Souls UU Church for those who want to learn more about it and engage in Jewish meditation practice. Like other approaches to meditation, Jewish meditation allowsRead More →

In anticipation of our second Congregation Kol Ami Jazz Night on Saturday night, October 20, I reflect on my own involvement with and love for jazz, how I came to be such a devoted fan of this extraordinary art form, and how, as a rabbi and a Jew I connect to this music. I will have more to say during my short talk on October 20. Suffice it to say for now that jazz, music in general, and even more generally the arts serve to open windows as to not only our cultural sensibilities, but our social connectors; both within our Jewish community, and howRead More →