Rabbi Harold Schulweis is my hero

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Rabbi Harold Schulweis is my hero. But I know that he is a hero to many. Unwilling to accept the status quo, he has always been willing to stand up for those on the periphery whom the community could easily overlook. And he has been creative and forward-thinking in developing programs so that everyone could feel at home in the synagogue and in the Jewish community. He continues to be a major voice in world Jewry, particularly in the Conservative movement. He has even taken on those who welcome only halachically Jewish children of intermarriage in the movement’s own Ramah Camps. We are particularly pleased that he has chosen to be an outspoken advocate for those non-Jews who have married into the Jewish community and are raising Jewish children.

We join the Los Angeles Jewish Chronicle in celebrating his 80th birthday and encourage those who follow his progressive thought on outreach to look for his article, “Reaching In and Reaching Out,” which will appear in an upcoming issue of the CCAR Journal which I am editing with Paul Golin, Asst Executive Director of JOI, where Rabbi Schulweis poignantly states “How we deal with the stranger tells us who we are and what we intend to become…. Reaching in to reach out is the exemplification of Godliness.”


  1. Estimada Kerry,

    a pesar de la distancia, me encuentro con agradables sorpresas en internet, entre estas, tu comentario sobre rabino Harold Schulweis. Desconocido aún para la mayoría de los judíos chilenos pero que arde como una luz que nos guía para quienes tenemos la ocasión de conocer sus textos y visiones.

    Desde Santiago de Chile, jag Sameaj y Feliz cumpleaños (iom muledet) para Schulweis .


    Comment by jorge zeballos — April 27, 2005 @ 8:53 pm

  2. Thank you for your comments across the miles. For those who read our blog and whose Spanish skills are not strong, here is the translation of your posting. (Hope we got it correctly. I know they are sentiments we all share about Rabbi Schulweis):

    “Despite the distance, I find nice surprises on the internet, among them your commentary about Rabbi Harold Schulweis. Although unknown to the majority of Chilean jews, he burns like a light for those of us who have had the pleasure of being acquainted with his works and his visions.

    From Santiago de Chile, chag sameach and happy birthday for Schulweis.” (trans. Sarah Littman)

    Comment by Kerry Olitzky — April 28, 2005 @ 7:09 pm

  3. I looked up Rabbi S. after seeing him quoted recently on a common language or “Esperanto” of religion. As a long time user and advocate of Esperanto (the creation of Ludwig Zamenhof, also a scholar of Yiddish), I wonder if the Rabbi and his admirers know about “Hillelism,” the effort of Zamenhof to distill the commonalities of the world’s faiths.

    Comment by James Lieberman — August 13, 2005 @ 5:48 pm

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