News Rabbis

CCAR Rabbis in the News

It seems like there’s an article in the news about CCAR rabbis every week. We’d like to share these with you. If you would like to share an article, please send it to

The CCAR is immensely proud of all of our members and recognize that the most important work is not always news worthy. If you would like to share your experiences with your colleagues, feel free to submit to RavBlog.


Our Actions

36 Rabbis Shave for the Brave to Raise Money to Fight Childhood Cancer

The Daily Beast | March 2

Cancer claimed Sam Sommer when he was 8. To honor the memory of the boy nicknamed ‘Superman Sam,’ his parents started a novel fundraising mission.


For young Jewish professionals, a Metro Minyan shabbat community

Washington Post | February 28

Rabbi Aaron Miller said a growing number of young Jewish professionals are looking for “a Jewish place to learn, pray and, of course, meet each other.” He said “every detail of the shabbat experience, from selecting Metro-accessible venues to serving Thai food,” is geared toward the city’s Jewish young adults.


Rabbis to Shave Heads to Raise Cancer Awareness

San Diego Jewish World | February 28

During the 125th annual Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Convention, over 60 Reform rabbis will shave their heads to raise awareness of and funding for pediatric cancer research. As the religious leadership of Reform Judaism, the CCAR Rabbis strive for justice and health in the world for all people.


Rabbis Unite to Fight Childhood Cancer

All Parenting | February 20

When blogger and rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s son Sam was tragically diagnosed with childhood cancer, Sommer turned to social media for information and support. And when things got worse for Sam, social media turned to her. Find out how 36 rabbis help fight childhood cancer in a surprising, and inspiring, way.


Rabbis Shaving Their Heads for Superman Sam

Barista Kids | February 20

One of the sadder social media stories of last year was Superman Sam, the 8-year-old son of two reform rabbis in Wisconsin who died of leukemia. His story spread like wildfire on Facebook and Twitter, with people around the country posting their “Superheroes for Sam” photos online. Despite the support of a large community and the best work of his doctors, Sam passed away in December, and now a nationwide community of rabbis is participating in 36 Rabbis Shave For the Brave, a fundraising effort for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which works to battle pediatric cancer.


Reaching out to atheist and agnostic Jews

Jewish Journal | February 18

This past month Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, was interviewed by theJewish Journal. As the leader of the largest synagogue movement in America he called for more outreach to the unaffiliated, noting that in South Florida the unaffiliated rate is 85 percent. He also wants us to reach out to the intermarried. In another interview with JTA he challenged Jewish leaders to stop “speaking about intermarriage as if it were a disease. It is not.” Also in January I attended the annual convention of retired Reform rabbis (yes, we are actually organized) where the keynote address was delivered by Rabbi Edward Zerin, a 94 year-old sage who is a more creative thinker than the young innovators in our movement. He, too, talked about outreach, but in a far different context. What he had to say applies not only to Reform but to all branches of Judaism with the exception of Orthodoxy.


Jewish values at heart of immigration reform

Jewish Journal | February 12

Last May, an unusual delegation arrived at the State Capitol building in Sacramento: a contingent of some 50 Reform Jews, clergy and lay leaders, hailing from congregations across California. They had come to campaign for the Trust Act, a bill designed to limit deportations of undocumented immigrants in the state. A few months after their visit, Gov. Jerry Brown would sign the Trust Act into law as part of a sweeping October push for immigration reform.

Why — And How — I Officiate

The New York Jewish Week | February 10

There has been a great deal of press lately about interfaith marriages within the Jewish community, including an article by Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism in which he proclaimed that young people “must hear from their Jewish leaders that interfaith couples can be and are supported in their effort to raise deeply committed Jewish families.”


Rabbis Shift To Say ‘I Do’ to Intermarriage

The Jewish Daily Forward | February 3

When Rabbi Daniel Zemel started his career, back in the past century, the last thing he thought he’d ever do was perform intermarriages.


Silence of the movie machine

The Sunday Morning Herald | January 25

The film of Sinclair Lewis’s novel, It Can’t Happen Here, about the rise to power of an American Hitler, was abandoned by Louis B. Mayer at the behest of Joseph Breen and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. It was canned on the pretext of ”casting difficulties”. Sinclair Lewis responded, ”I wrote It Can’t Happen Here but I begin to think it certainly can”.


Story of Jews who helped King made part of Journey exhibit

HistorcCity News | January 22

The story of the arrests of sixteen Rabbis and one administrator responding to the call of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. in St Augustine on June 18, 1964, is not as well-known as it should be, according to Carol Rovinsky who chairs the Justice 1964 Committee of the St Augustine Jewish Historical Society.



Our Milestones

Rabbi Richard Levine, 75, remembered as influential Jewish advocate

New Jersey Jewish Community Voice | February 19

Rabbi Richard A. Levine, who served as the spiritual leader of Burlington County’s only Reform synagogue for 41 years, died Friday evening at Virtua Hospital, Voorhees, following a long illness. He was 75 years old and was surrounded by his family when he passed away at 8:22 p.m. Rabbi Levine was a well-known, influential and beloved Jewish advocate in South Jersey, Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley.


Rabbi David Sandmel to direct ADL Interfaith Affairs

San Diego Jewish World | February 15

A rabbi, educator and scholar who has led interreligious efforts on behalf of the Reform Judaism movement and has spearheaded Catholic-Jewish dialogue in Chicago has been appointed the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Director of Interfaith Affairs.


Chocolate’s connection to religion

Sarasota Herald Tribune | February 7

The connection between chocolate and religion is not an obvious one — until you start looking. That’s what Deborah Prinz found when she and her husband were embarking on an extended trip through Europe and indulging their mutual fondness for chocolate in 2006. At a small chocolate shop in Paris, they learned that Jews had brought chocolate-making to France.


From corporate job to spiritual leader

The Island Now | February 6

It’s a long way from a corporate job in Indiana to rabbinic studies in Jerusalem and ordination in New York City, but that’s the trip Rabbi Randy Sheinberg took on the way to becoming spiritual leader of Temple Tikvah in New Hyde Park.


North Shore Rabbi Mason announces retirement plan

Glencoe News | January 31

An era will conclude next year at Glencoe’s North Shore Congregation Israel as Rabbi Steven Mason has announced he is retiring. Mason, who has served at North Shore since July 1997, sent a letter to congregants this week revealing he will be stepping down in June 2015.


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