Seize the Opportunity

Seize the Opportunity

Joshua 18:3

“Joshua said to the Israelites, “How long will you be lackadaisical about taking possession of the land which the Holy Blessed One, the God of your ancestors, has assigned to you?”

There was a meme used by the Obama campaign in the final few months of his Presidential contest against John McCain. The meme was a short video clip of a bicyclist nearing the end of a race.

The man, seeing an end in sight, began to shake his hands in the air feverishly to celebrate his soon-to-be victory. But due to his wild gesticulating, his balance was thrown off, so he crashed just before the finish line. So close, and yet so far. Continue reading “Seize the Opportunity”

Episode 19: Celebrating Freedom and Passover w/Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Episode 19: Celebrating Freedom and Passover w/Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

““Imagine if someone came to you and offered to give you $86,400 every day for the rest of your life. The only condition is that you had to spend every penny each day and that you wouldn’t be able to save a dime. This is what God has given us: 86,400 seconds each day, not one of which can be recovered. Each moment counts.””

— Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, Pirkei Avot: A Social Justice Commentary

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is the President & Dean of the Valley Beit Midrash (Jewish pluralistic adult learning & leadership), the Founder & President of Uri L’Tzedek (Jewish Social Justice), the Founder and CEO of The Shamayim Institute (Jewish animal advocacy), the Founder and President of YATOM, (Jewish foster and adoption network), and the author of sixteen books on Jewish ethicsNewsweek named Rav Shmuly one of the top 50 rabbis in America and the Forward named him one of the 50 most influential Jews. Continue reading “Episode 19: Celebrating Freedom and Passover w/Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz”

Episode 18: The Invisibility of Russian Speaking Jews w/Alex Zeldin

Episode 18: The Invisibility of Russian Speaking Jews w/Alex Zeldin

“You are a Jew, Sashinka. V soyuze, (in the Soviet Union) they made us feel dirty and ashamed of this. But you, you will be proud of it.”

— Alex’s babushka in Israel, excerpt from his Tablet Magazine article

Alexander Zeldin is the former Senior Communications Associate at the American Jewish Committee (AJC). He is currently a strategic planning senior analyst for American Express. Alex graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Political Science. As talented and creative as he is in his day job, Alex is also an active writer and political pundit. You can find his work in publications such as The Jewish Daily Forward and Tablet Magazine. You can always reach out to him directly at his Twitter account: @Wonko_the_sane_ just be sure you are bringing your A-game, because he sure will be. Continue reading “Episode 18: The Invisibility of Russian Speaking Jews w/Alex Zeldin”

All Human Life is Infused with Divinity

All Human Life is Infused with Divinity

Joshua 8:29

“And the king of Ai was impaled on a stake until the evening. At sunset, Joshua had the corpse taken down from the stake and it was left lying at the entrance to the city gate. They raised a great heap of stones over it, which is there to this day.”

Deut 21:22-23

“If a man is guilty of a capital offense and is put to death, and you impale him on a stake, you must not let his corpse remain on the stake overnight, but must bury him the same day. For an impaled body is an affront to God: you shall not defile the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.”

Continue reading “All Human Life is Infused with Divinity”

Episode 17: Begging for Change w/Kitchens for Good cofounder Aviva Paley

Episode 17: Begging for Change w/Kitchens for Good cofounder Aviva Paley

““Wasting food is a tragedy, but the real tragedy is that we’re wasting people.””

— Robert Egger

Aviva Paley is a passionate social entrepreneur with professional experience in marrying a social mission with proven business driven strategies. In 2014 Co-Founded Kitchens for Good, a social enterprise food service operation that provides culinary job training for the unemployed, while simultaneously transforming surplus produce into nutritious meals for the hungry.

Aviva serves as the Senior Director overseeing all programs, as well as managing the marketing and fundraising efforts for Kitchens for Good. In just four years the organization has trained 215 individuals for jobs in the culinary industry, rescued 86,591 pounds of surplus food and turned it into 151,227 nutritious meals for hungry San Diegans; and developed a strong social enterprise catering operation that has generated over $3.9 million in earned income and provided an ongoing 59% of the organization’s budget. Continue reading “Episode 17: Begging for Change w/Kitchens for Good cofounder Aviva Paley”

Episode 16: A Jewish Mysticism of Time and Space w/Hadar Cohen

Episode 16: A Jewish Mysticism of Time and Space w/Hadar Cohen

““When in doubt – LOVE!””

Hadar is a spiritual leader and community organizer manifesting visions of feminism, soulful prayer, and communal care. Hadar loves birthing her own projects including feminism all night – a communal all night learning immersive around feminism and spirituality. She is a graduate of Cooper Union, where she studied Electrical Engineering, and alt*div, a alternative divinity school centering the intersection of justice and spirituality. She is a lover of dance, song, and communal transformation. She writes about spirituality, justice, and embodied experiences in a newsletter called in loving faith. To receive updates for her events and writings, subscribe at Continue reading “Episode 16: A Jewish Mysticism of Time and Space w/Hadar Cohen”

Episode 15: Celebrating Life and Purim; on Drug and Alcohol Abuse w/Rabbi Mark Borovitz

Episode 15: Celebrating Life and Purim; on Drug and Alcohol Abuse w/Rabbi Mark Borovitz

“For me, Truth is more important than my job… it’s more important than you liking me. Because as soon as I hide… I die. And we haven’t realized that as a people.”

— Rabbi Mark Borovitz

The Jewish holiday of Purim has a long tradition of drinking a lot and getting wild. So I thought it fitting to bring on the show Rabbi Mark Borovitz for this special holiday episode.

A little bit about our Purim Episode guest this week: Rabbi Mark Borovitz..

Officially ordained in 2000 at the University of Judaism with a Master’s in Rabbinic Literature, Rabbi Mark Borovitz combined his knowledge of Torah and street smarts to shape his calling: helping recovering addicts find their way in the world. Spiritual Leader, Author, Senior Rabbi, CEO, ex-con, recovering alcoholic, and overall anomaly, he is able to reach both the addict and the congregant, and de-stigmatize this life threatening disease. Continue reading “Episode 15: Celebrating Life and Purim; on Drug and Alcohol Abuse w/Rabbi Mark Borovitz”

Episode 14: Starting a Brick and Mortar in the Tech Age of Apps w/Emily Weisberg

Episode 14: Starting a Brick and Mortar in the Tech Age of Apps w/Emily Weisberg

““When my daughter is playing with Legos… when the dad goes into work his boss is a woman, and when the mom goes into work – she is the boss!””

Emily grew up in a small town in Wisconsin where she started writing recipes and drinking coffee at the ripe old age of 7. She started working in restaurants when she was 14 and has hardly stopped since. She learned Spanish, developed an interest in coffee, went to college, shopped at the farmer’s market a lot, ate at some amazing restaurants, lived in Peru for a while and eventually got married in Jerusalem where she and her husband lived. They came back to the U.S. with a toddler and an even stronger desire to build a diverse community around food. Enter: Moss Café. Emily, her husband Alex and their two little ones live in Riverdale and can probably be found at the café. Continue reading “Episode 14: Starting a Brick and Mortar in the Tech Age of Apps w/Emily Weisberg”

Episode 13: Breaking The Mold, Creating New Ways To Be and Do Jewish w/Roey Kruvi

Episode 13: Breaking The Mold, Creating New Ways To Be and Do Jewish w/Roey Kruvi

“Any good innovative organization will tell you that you have to be okay with failure – that they look to ‘not’ have consensus. That those are the ideas that forge new spaces and opportunities.”

— Roey Kruvi

Roey Kruvi is the Senior Director of Immersive Experiences at Moishe House. He was born in Haifa and lived in different parts of Israel before moving to California at the age of 10, where he has been ever since. Since relocating to Encinitas, he has taken on several new hobbies, using his free time to surf, horseback ride, learn the piano, practice yoga, and spend time with his family. He graduated from UC Berkeley with bachelor’s degrees in geography and interdisciplinary studies. Roey appreciates opportunities to live communally, skill share, laugh at himself, laugh with others, go to potlucks, breathe (thanks, lungs!), read books, negotiate bus fares, and eat lunch by gorging on farmers market samples.

Roey’s passion and dedication are in informal education of youth, especially in wilderness and/or outdoor settings, and he has several years’ experience designing and implementing experiential education curriculums, both in and outside of the Jewish world. Also, he’s a big fan of being alive and not taking himself too seriously. Roey is a cancer survivor and doesn’t sweat the small stuff. Roey is also the founder of Beacons Tech Consulting, a business that provides affordable tech solutions to small and medium-sized nonprofits. Continue reading “Episode 13: Breaking The Mold, Creating New Ways To Be and Do Jewish w/Roey Kruvi”

Episode 12: Just A Dash of Orange Blossom Water with cookbook author Sara Gardner

Episode 12: Just A Dash of Orange Blossom Water with cookbook author Sara Gardner

“Food is a really great way of connecting folks who may have never met, in a way that is so much easier and sometimes even more effective than, say, talking to a person.”

— Sara Gardner

Sara Gardner is the Associate Director of Young Adult Programs at Hebrew College. Before joining the college’s Adult Learning team, Sara conducted research on the culinary heritage and cultural identity of Sephardic Jews in Madrid as a Fulbright Scholar. Sara is also the creator and head blogger of Boka Dulse, a food blog dedicated to Jewish food history, and regularly contributes to The Nosher, a Jewish food publication sponsored by

An avid cook and food historian, Sara also teaches cooking classes – some of her past teaching engagements include with the Reform Jewish Community of Madrid and The Gefilteria. She is also the editor of the recently-published cookbook, The Rosh Hashanah Seder Cookbook: Stories and Recipes from the Reform Jewish Community of Madrid, currently available on Amazon. In 2016, Sara graduated with a BA in International Literary & Visual Studies and Spanish (with a minor in Hebrew) from Tufts University. Continue reading “Episode 12: Just A Dash of Orange Blossom Water with cookbook author Sara Gardner”