Jewish teachings argue strongly for lenient absorption policies. But perhaps the most compelling Jewish argument for welcoming immigrants and refugees is our shared historical experience.
Rabbi Michael Knopf
Rabbi Michael Knopf is the Rabbi of Temple Beth-el in Richmond, Virginia, and is a Clal-Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. He is dedicated to engaging and supporting spiritual seekers; communicating the transformative power of Torah and prayer; and building welcoming, supportive, and inspiring community. These passions inspired him, prior to his ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in 2011, to help coordinate the nation’s largest preparatory program for conversion to Judaism; to work as a spiritual counselor at Beit T'Shuvah, a Jewish addiction treatment facility; and to serve several congregations and educational institutions in the U.S. and Canada. Rabbi Knopf is a regular contributor to Haaretz's "Rabbi's Roundtable" blog, Jewish Values Online, and other publications; has a weekly podcast featured on the JCast Network; produces a weekly video message. Rabbi Knopf is happily married to his best friend, Adira, and enjoys movies, traveling, and pizza.
Follow him on Twitter @RabbiKnopf
Knopf is a contributing blogger for Haaretz Jewish World.
A failed sermon is like a placid lake - pleasant, but static. A successful sermon is a ripple in still water, combining Jewish textual tradition with real-world issues.
Abandoning the fight for racial justice over one policy plank is wrongheaded and counterproductive. We must remember that we Jews stand for more than just the State of Israel.
Faced with dwindling congregations, synagogues should stop worrying about how community members pay, and instead focus on the term being used to describe what they get in return.
I find myself wondering what guidance the Jewish tradition would have for selecting our next leader. Just in time for Passover, I have found an answer.
We are leading the movement to protest the Republican frontrunner at AIPAC's conference because we feel compelled to stand on the other side of a great moral divide, in solidarity with those Trump has routinely denigrated: our Muslim, Mexican, Latino, immigrant, female, disabled and LGBTQI brothers and sisters.
We look to our leaders to articulate a vision for where we ought to go and to be models for who we ought to be. This Republican presidential candidate is anathema to both.
David Bowie taught me that it's okay to be strange. Simultaneously, Judaism taught me being different is sacred.
As AIPAC pulls one way and J Street the other, and as supporters are labeled Nazi-sympathizers and opponents are cast as warmongers, who is thinking about what will happen to our community after the dust on this battle settles?
What if Dolezal didn't fabricate her racial identity, but rather expressed an understanding of her identity that was more complicated than the typical social categories allow?