NYC Secular & Cultural Judaism


A message from Rabbi Tzemah


As the seasons shift and I grow into my role as the Rabbi of this wonderful and warm community, I want to reflect on the ties that bind us together.

Often, I hear the words ‘this is what Jews do,’ or ‘this is what Jews think’ and I cringe at the generalization. Ideas and traditions have often bound Jews together, but just as often, and perhaps more often, they drove wedges between competing groups and led to acrimony and even bloodshed. More potent a bond, I believe, are the stories we share. Some of these stories may not be true stories, some are shrouded in the mists of myth, and some are recent, but no less powerful. As a diverse people who have many different and often irreconcilable beliefs, we relate to these stories differently, but we share them.

In the course of this year at City Congregation I have shared my own personal stories with the community, hoping to foster a spirit of openness and empathy, and I have been richly rewarded. You have shared with me and each other the stories that weave us together as a community.

In this spirit I want to embark on Part 2 of my listening tour this spring and early summer. I invite you to reach out to me at so we can meet and talk.

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