A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 7.23.2020

The Talmud famously relates that Jerusalem was destroyed due to sinat chinam – baseless hatred: “There was a certain man whose friend was named Kamtza and whose enemy was named bar Kamtza. He once made a large feast and said to his servant: Go bring me my friend Kamtza. The servant went and mistakenly … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 7.9.2020

Summer officially began on June 20th, but I always associate the July 4th weekend with the beginning of summer. The last couple of weeks of June are occupied with wrapping up the business of the academic/school year – there are graduations, getting kids off to sleep-away camp, and looking forward to some … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 6.26.2020

This summer is shaping up to be the strangest summer most of us have ever spent.  Many of us continue to heed the warnings of health-care professionals with regard to social distancing, mask-wearing, and self-isolation.  Others, however, here in New York and across the country, are ready to move on, … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 6.18.2020

Hard to believe, but the High Holidays are just around the corner.  A committee was put together to discuss our plans for the holidays, and we met this past Monday night to begin the discussion.  The big announcement is that we will not be holding High Holiday services in person … READ MORE

EMJC Rabbi Sam Levine’s Sermon June 13, 2020

Sermon June 13, 2020 Shabbat Beha’alotecha You may have seen, earlier this week, the statement that the synagogue released on the death of George Floyd.  We were a little late to the game, but there were queries from some quarters about why we had not released a statement.  I felt … READ MORE

A Letter from EMJC President Michael F. Schwartz

Dear Members: I am writing this letter to you reflecting on the recent events involving George Floyd. That 8 minute and 46 second video ranks among the most indelible images of violence and injustice – and will forever be impressed in our minds and psyches.  I was a young man … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 6.12.2020

Somehow, it’s the middle of June. There has been much to keep our minds occupied lately. We are especially grateful to be reminded that there are things to celebrate, that life is full of small joys. Tomorrow, Eve Becker will courageously stand up in front of her community, on Zoom, … READ MORE

East Midwood Jewish Center Statement on the Killing of George Floyd

For non-black Americans, the murder of George Floyd has brought to national and international attention the second-class citizen status of black Americans in the United States. It would be impossible to list the number of black Americans who have been targeted by police, by racist vigilantes, and by non-black citizens … READ MORE

A Weekly Message from Rabbi Sam Levine 6.4.2020

This spring, I have been taking a class at the Academy for Jewish Religion with Dr. Ora Horn Prouser, the Academic Dean of the seminary. The class is called Disturbing Biblical Texts. It does a deep dive into some of the more troubling texts of the Hebrew Bible in an effort to … READ MORE