05 November 2010

The East Bank

I started a new column in the Jewish Week.  It's called "The East Bank."
The East Bank of the East River is where I’ve lived for the past twenty years, in a territory known as Brooklyn, which began as Native American land and was then settled by the Dutch. George Washington and his troops beat a hasty retreat from the British in the park where I run. It is now among the most sought after places to live in New York City.
I’m rabbi of a large synagogue that has been here since 1861, when Abraham Lincoln was president and our nation was deeply divided in a war to end slavery. Our synagogue serves a community of Jews and their partners that was unimaginable to the generation which founded it. In 1861, the majority of the world’s Jews lived not in America but in Europe, North Africa, and the Arab lands with a small, steady settlement in the Land of Israel. Men and women and blacks did not share equal rights; gay marriage was inconceivable. There were no labor laws; the public school system was just coming into being. In the 150 years that the Jews of Brooklyn have occupied the East Bank of the East River, the world has never stopped changing and the Jews have never stopped adapting to the growing needs and demands of an ever evolving Jewish reality.
Read the full article HERE.



Marco Siegel-Acevedo said...

Yasher koach! Looking forward to reading future installments.

Larry Kaufman said...

I'm not sure "enjoy" was the right word to invite us in to your challenging musings.

If, a century and a half after Lincoln, and sixty years into Israeli statehood, we are still two houses divided, what are we supposed to shepp nachas from?

In any event, yasher koach.