Notes Worth Knowing

You are here

Now is the Time for Action

Early this summer, I represented the ACC as part of a URJ delegation of clergy, protesting and bearing witness in McAllen, Texas to the atrocity of child detention centers. Alongside distinguished interfaith clergy from around the country, our intention was to shed a light onto the shame that is occurring and articulate our clear opposition to this misguided and immoral policy. 

We can be proud that The Union for Reform Judaism, as well as numerous other religious institutions of diverse faiths from around the country, came out strongly against this policy. 

Expanding our Reach: The Songs of Social Justice and Tikkun Olam at NFTY

Aldous Huxley taught, “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” The most significant moments of our lives have a soundtrack; they have a musical framework that our families, our people, and our society build. During the civil rights movement in America, African American spirituals like Oh Freedom and We Shall Overcome inspired, led, and exclaimed the charge of our fellow citizens looking for justice, for equality.

Bringing Home the Beach

Every year, my family and I head “down the shore” (as we say around here) to spend a week relaxing at the beach. As we cross the bridge separating Ocean City from the rest of New Jersey I can feel the tension leave my shoulders, my heart rate slows, and a stupid grin spreads across my face. Maybe it’s the beach kid in me. The tang of salty air just makes me feel like I’m a kid again in San Diego.

Lost & Found: Ashira Ladonai (Sing Unto The Lord), arranged by Erwin Jospe

ERWIN JOSPE is probably not the first name that comes to mind when you think about Jewish music - but his life story and compositional output are more than deserving of our attention and admiration. Born in 1903 in Berlin, Jospe was the editor of Hawa Naschira: Auf! Lasst uns Singen (1935 and reissued in 2001), the last publication of Jewish music in Europe prior to the Holocaust.


At the 2017 ACC-GTM Convention in Las Vegas, we inaugurated the Ba'al Chazon Award for Vision, designed to recognize the wide range of our members’ talents and contribution in and beyond the pulpit.

If you are a cantor who fits into one of these categories or if you know of a colleague who fits into one of these categories, please complete the nomination form below.

A Call to Social Justice

ACC/GTM Convention
Monday Morning D’var Torah
Monday, June 26, 2017

Boker Tov!

As Rabbi Wendy Geffen put it: When it comes to high drama, it’s hard to beat the portion we read this past Shabbat morning, Parashat Korach. When Moses’s first cousin, Korach, challenges the leader’s authority, Moses retorts by suggesting a “spirituality duel” of sorts, charging Korach and his band to return the next morning so each party can present offerings to God.

Taking a Seat at the Table: The ACC Deepens Its Commitment to Social Justice

As we write this article, only a few hours have passed since the conclusion of the Consultation on Conscience followed by the URJ Commission on Social Action meeting. For three days, we joined together with 800 Jews in Arlington, VA, and then Washington DC, to learn, pray, lobby, and most of all dream about the type of world that our Jewish values demand that we create. 

We are inspired after having heard remarkable political and moral leaders speak of the pressing issues of our times. 

We are energized.  We are hopeful.  And as an entire conference, we are ready to work. 

Parshat Va'eira For the Cantors of 2017

What a week to be gathering together here.  Many of us have spent the last few months in fear and anxiety – checking our news feeds every few minutes looking both to confirm our fears and somehow find hope that something incredible might still happen to save us from… well, everything.

It is completely overwhelming and can even be debilitating.

I know that I have lost hours of productive work time because moving my focus away from all of “it” can prove to be impossible.


Subscribe to RSS - Notes Worth Knowing