president daniel lehmann at chanukat habayit, december 2012

President's Blog

Hanukkah and Thanksgiving: An Opportunity for Hybridity

Nov. 26, 2013 — Everyone is talking and writing about the rare overlap between Hanukkah and Thanksgiving this year. Thanksgivukkah has become a virtual industry with bloggers, websites and commercial products focusing attention on this unusual calendric phenomenon. Beyond all the hype, is there something of substance that can be derived from the intersection of these two different holidays? > Read full post

A Weaving Together of Spiritual Worlds

Oct 8, 2013 — Rarely are the lost worlds of 19th century German Orthodoxy and Polish Hasidism brought together in one moment and in one space. This past Sunday, that rare event took place. > Read full post

Partnering on the Pulpit

Sept. 24, 2013 — For me it was a first. Never before did I have the opportunity, as president of Hebrew College, to partner with an alumnus on a synagogue pulpit. On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, I served as a Ba’al Tefila, a leader of synagogue prayers, at Temple Reyim in Newton. Rabbi Dan Berman, a 2010 graduate of the Hebrew College Rabbinical School, was appointed the new Rabbi at Temple Reyim just this past summer. > Read full post

Lessons Learned From Rabbi Lamm's Last Letter

July 3, 2013 — I was an undergraduate and rabbinical student at Yeshiva University in the early to mid-1980s. Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm was the university’s president. YU was beginning to emerge from a crippling financial crisis, and Rabbi Lamm was leading the revitalization of modern Orthodoxy’s flagship institution. > Read full post

Is Hatred of Evil a Jewish Value?

May 17, 2013 — Last week I was in Cleveland when the news broke about the young women who were rescued from captivity. The city of Cleveland was in shock as the details emerged that these innocent victims were held against their will for 10 years and suffered horrible abuse at the hands of their captor. The more we discovered about the cruel violence perpetrated against the three women, the more disgusted the nation became with the evil that was evident in this tragic situation. > Read full post

My Shortest Trip to Israel

March 6, 2013 — Rabbi David Hartman was a larger than life figure. Rooted in Orthodox practice and belief, he pushed the boundaries of Jewish thought, articulating a covenantal theology of partnership and love. As an Orthodox rabbinical student and a then a young rabbi, David Hartman was a model for me of someone who was devoted to the tradition, passionate about Jewish law and thought, and striving for a creative, contemporary theology that responded to the challenges and opportunities of pluralism and the State of Israel. > Read full post

An Interfaith Vision for America

Jan. 22, 2013 — The remarkable confluence of President Obama’s second inaugural celebration and the national holiday marking Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday led me to think about the place of religious pluralism in America. I listened to President Obama’s inaugural address at noon, and as I was driving back to Boston from New York City, I listened again to MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech that was broadcast on the local radio. I was struck, as I have been in the past, with the concluding sentence of King’s famous speech. > Read full post

Toward Creativity: A Theological Goal for Jewish Education

Nov. 1, 2012 — I have been contemplating the need for a theology of Jewish education which would ground the goals of Jewish education in an understanding of Judaism’s religious telos. It seems to me that Jewish education should inspire and equip us to achieve the deepest aspirations of Judaism. > Read full post


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