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Petaluma's Inclusive Center for Jewish Life

That 'n' This


As I write this, President Trump has signed an executive order to cease the separation of children from their families on the border with Mexico. While that certainly may bring a sigh of relief for all who are deeply disturbed with these actions of our government, it doesn't address the other question: How could anyone think this was a right thing to do to begin with? It is bad enough that the young minds have witnessed police and guns and desperation and all of the things that led their parents to cross the border illegally. Then to be ripped away from their parents...

That reminds me of such acts that were used in the roundups in Europe where children were taken from their parents as part of the process of dehumanizing the people and taking away all hope - those parents were Jews, of course, and our existence had been declared illegal by the government. While the circumstances are different, the tactics are not and, as Jews, we cannot stand by idly. I am not addressing here the issue of illegal immigration. How we handle vulnerable populations is a measure of our values.

Many national Jewish organizations have taken stands against such a policy that would wantonly damage the key relationship between parents and children. Many local organizations and individuals have decried what has happened in our country and we will witness, once again, a mobilization of effort to make a difference. In the forthcoming days we will witness what the changes will mean for these children and their parents. Yes, the crisis around immigration will continue. This nation of immigrants called America needs clarity, resolution, and compassion to bring order to the chaos that has been created.


"Talking with Rabbi Ted"

Tomorrow, June 21 at 10:00 a.m. at 103.3 FM or, I will have as guests Amanda Grey, incoming principal at Grant Elementary School in Petaluma and Skip Sommer, a retired local businessman and an historian of Petaluma.

Amanda Grey's resume includes a few years as Program Director for the summer camps at the Osher-Marin J.C.C. where she developed her passion for working with children. Skip Sommer will have an interesting story about Petaluma's Jewish community connecting with legendary author Jack London.

The replay will be available on the BIJC website a few days after the broadcast.


Last Friday we concluded a week of Camp Kuku Riku (the sound of a rooster in Hebrew), our first day camp program. The week was an amazing success with 21 children participating. Our appreciation is extended to Janet Rae Jogensen and Sarah Borchers, co-directors for the great effort they invested in making a magical experience for our children. The camp took place at Live Oak Farm, owned by our member Randy Goldstein. Pictures of the activities will appear on our website!


I am heading out for vacation next week and will return to Shabbat services on July 21 and to the office on Tuesday, July 24. During this time an emergency number will be available and it is: 707-364-6162. A board member will be staffing the phone and have resources with other Rabbis in the area, should the need arise. I will be reachable through that number if necessary. If there are routine issues, please check with Jennifer in our office at our regular number. Again, the emergency number is 707-364-6162.

Thank you....


Rabbi Ted Feldman

Sun, June 16 2019 13 Sivan 5779