Category Archives: Public Statements

Statement of Moral Outrage at Police Violence and Systemic Racism

On June 30, 2020, a group of about 60 Richmond-area clergy representing many faiths, now known as Clergy Action RVA, gathered at Marcus David Peters Circle (formerly known as the Robert E. Lee Monument) to demand an end to police … Continue reading

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Justice Demands RISC

On June 15, 2020, I was asked to give closing remarks at the (virtual) annual gathering for RISC — Richmonders Involved to Strengthen Our Communities — an organization of congregations from throughout the Richmond region working to solve critical community … Continue reading

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Message to the Class of 2020

I was asked to record a message for the seniors graduating from Maggie Walker Governor’s School, but I think it is applicable to students everywhere — and, indeed, all of us. Hope you find it meaningful. Feel free to share … Continue reading

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A Statement on George Floyd’s Murder and Systemic Racial Injustice

Like many of you, I have been heartbroken and angry since George Floyd’s murder on May 25. Central to Jewish tradition is the notion that every human being is created in God’s image, that we are all equal in value … Continue reading

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‘We can be so much more when we live in love’: Two area faith leaders share thoughts of hope, help during COVID pandemic

The following are thoughts that David Dwight, Lead Pastor of Hope Church in Richmond, and I shared with the Richmond Times-Dispatch on helping people through the difficulties of life in COVID-19. (The questions and responses have been edited for length … Continue reading

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Wearing a face mask? You’re doing a mitzvah. Make a brachah!

Among the Jewish tradition’s most cherished values is the sanctity of human life. With a few notable exceptions, one must not endanger their life in order to fulfill a religious obligation. And one must violate even the most significant commandments … Continue reading

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Reflections on the COVID-19 Pandemic

I wrote the following statement along with my multi-faith partners on the Standing Together Steering Committee of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities: These are turbulent and anxious times. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended so many of our lives. We … Continue reading

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Justice, Truth, and Peace: How to Keep Our Republic

The following was a keynote address at the Religious Freedom Day celebration at Richmond, Virginia’s “First Freedom Center,” January 16, 2020. Good morning. It is an honor to be with you today for this celebration of our most cherished freedoms.  I … Continue reading

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Celebrating Jewish Culture in Troubled Times

Keynote address at University of Mary Washington’s Jewish Cultural Celebration (November 6, 2019) Good evening. It is such an honor and a joy to be with you this evening for this celebration of Jewish Culture. It is especially meaningful to … Continue reading

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Remarks at Islamic Center Standing Together Event (March 17, 2019)

Asalamu aleikum. Peace be upon you, my brothers, and sisters. As I utter those words, I am cognizant of how painfully ironic it feels to be extending greetings of peace to a community shattered by a cruel and horrific act … Continue reading

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