Saturday, April 23, 2016

My visit to the reform congregation in Gedera, Israel
I have published this drash on Passover that was published on Friday by the World Union of Progressive Judaism. It goes out to reform congregations all over the world. I hope you find it interesting as I retell my experience spending shabbat with the reform congregation in Gedera, Israel. I hope all my Jewish friends had a great Passover.
All the best
Rabbi Brad Bloom

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New Blog Post from Rabbi Bloom: The Righteous Among the Nations

While Passover is almost here I am writing about the connection between the lessons of the Passover experience and the forthcoming Yom Hashoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day. My focus is on the the importance of acknowledging the role and contribution that Righteous Gentiles played during the war years in saving Jewish lives.  Our congregation's theme this year is about the Righteous Among the Nations which the state of Israel established to honor those risked there lives to save Jewish lives. Tell me what you think?
Have a joyous and happy Passover.
Rabbi Bloom

Friday, April 15, 2016

Series on Pesach and its connections to the Holocaust: Part One. Let the youth decide.

There are lots of connections between the lessons of the Holocaust that can be extended to the ancient Exodus. As we prepare for Pesach, our youth have to learn how to face difficult truths. Is it right that we shield them from the essential facts of the Shoah? What is your view?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

A conversation in the Old City of Jerusalem: Small alleyways can lead to peace.

This newspaper column recounts my conversations with a group of Arab shopkeepers in the Old City of Jerusalem. The religious diversity of this walled city, its history and its future captivates me. Take a read and tell me what you think?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Part Two in the series on Israel

This is the 2nd installment on my newspaper column reports from Israel. Enjoy the read and let me know what you think?
Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Bloom in Israel: Working on diversity amongst religions.

This is a part of a three part series of articles I sent from Jerusalem during my recent stay. I was in Israel leading a congregational mission and then afterwards participated in a conference of progressive rabbis. Thanks for taking the time to read it and your comments are always welcome.
Shabbat Shalom,

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Report: First day of Israel trip

First Day Report”
My Dear members of CBY,
We have spent our first official day in Israel. We arrived Sunday evening and our group went to have our welcome meal at a fantastic Yemenite restaurant. This was our moment to begin to get acquainted  as waiters brought out to us scores of dishes from Israeli salads, main courses and desserts. There is never lack of eating in Israel.Everyone introduced themselves and we reaffirmed our commitment to getting to know each other over the next ten or so days. 
Monday morning.
We are staying at the David Intercontinental hotel in Tel Aviv across from the beach. We visited Independence Hall where David Ben Gurion signed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. We strolled through the lively Carmel outdoor market where everyone got lunch and other goodies. One of the highlights of the day was our trip to the Palmach museum. Remember the Palmach? This was, in pre state days, Israel’s elite strike force that defended this soon to be brand new  nation. Yitzchak Rabin was  in the Palmach too. The museum and the video performances were stirring and helped us all feel the gut wrenching drama of Israel’s fight for survival and its determination to be victorious despite long odds from the Arab armies. I could see and feel that the exhibits along with the video portrayal of what life was like in this days had a significant impact upon the group.
Afterwards we went to Jaffa and learned the history of this ancient town.  I have included pictures of these experiences.The shops and the ambience is reminiscent of the ancient world as well as indicative of the new increasingly modern world where in Jaffa Jews and Arabs are learning how to live together. 

We topped it all off with a unique experience for dinner at the Jewish Libyan tradition eating a favorite called Shakshukah. We had a great meal everyone was joyful and happy from this culinary experience from Middle Eastern design.