Everyone’s been talking about the American Comedy Network’s “Matzo Man” – the dancing matzahs parody on the Village People’s “Macho Man” song. But I found the 60-second seder to be a great animation for Passover as well. It’s done by the Ramat Hasharon (Israel) web design studio Z-Kit and it’s just what my relatives have been asking me to do for several years (although I think they would settle for a 60-minute seder as well).
The Jewish Theological Seminary made it official today that Prof. Arnold Eisen of Stanford University would become the next chancellor of the Seminary (or at least “Chancellor Designate” as he won’t officially take office for over a year) replacing Rabbi Ismar Schorsch. Eisen will be the second chancellor of JTS who is not a rabbi (Cyrus Adler was the first).
I happen to think that the choice of Prof. Eisen as chancellor is a good one as I do not think the position needs to be held by a rabbi or that the chancellorship means being the mara d’atra (chief rabbi and legal authority) for the Conservative Movement. In fact, I also do not think the chancellor of the Seminary has to be the “titular head of the movement” as Chancellor Schorsch was regarded. The chancellor is the head of the faculty of JTS, which is just one of the institutions in the Conservative Movement.
There are many well respected rabbis in the Conservative Movement who are already in significant leadership positions. These visionaries and figureheads include Rabbi Bill Lebeau (JTS Rabbinical School Dean in New York), Rabbi Brad Artson (Dean of the Rabbinical School at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles), and Rabbi David Golinkin (President of Machon Schechter in Jerusalem).
Here’s part of the text from the JTA.org. See the complete article here.
Though not a rabbi, Eisen is known as a leading figure in Jewish studies. He has devoted much of his research to American Jewry, focusing on the transformation of Judaism in the modern West, and is the author of “Rethinking Modern Judaism,” among other books.
Eisen will take the reins as Conservative Judaism faces a series of challenges and questions, including dwindling numbers and a battle over the place of gays and lesbians in the movement.
In his first interview with U.S. Jewish media after being chosen as chancellor, Eisen told JTA he favors allowing gays and lesbians to become rabbis.
I suppose that to really be able to eBay ones chametz, it would be necessary to make the auction only open to non-Jews and I’m not sure that eBay would want to make that an option for their auction listings.
Kudos to the guy who decided to actually auction off his chametz this year because it was not only a funny idea that quickly circulated the Web, it was also a creative way to raise some money for the Ziv Tzedakah Fund – a great organization.
The Ziv Tzedakah Fund, founded and chaired by Danny Siegel, is about Mitzvahs – Fixing Up the World with whatever talents and resources we have as individuals.
Danny Siegel’s Ziv Tzedakah Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to the collection and distribution of funds to various little known Tzedakah projects. It provides money and support for individuals and programs that offer direct, significant, and immediate services with a minimum of overhead and bureaucracy. Ziv is also involved in bringing the educational message of Tzedakah to communities and Jewish schools throughout the United States, Canada and Israel and empowers ordinary people to become Mitzvah heroes.
I first met Danny Siegel back when I was in USY and he immediately endeared himself to me as an activist who cared so passionately for Judaism and for social justice. He’s really a great guy who writes great books and runs a terrific organization. That is undoubtedly why it’s important to donate the proceeds from auctioning off your chametz before Pesach to Ziv. That way you know your donation will be used to help make a difference in this word.
Well, I see I haven’t posted anything to my blog in about a week-and-a-half. This is because I have been so busy lately having just recently decided not to return to U-M Hillel next year as Associate Director.
So, rather than write anything of substance on the important issues of the day, I will just present the following information which I find to be quite interesting:
That won’t ever happen again.