Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley
Mail to: PO Box 13, Sedona, AZ 86339-0013
Location: 100 Meadow Lark Drive, Sedona AZ 86336
928-204-1286 ... email@example.com
Shabbat Services: Friday evenings - 7:30 pm Led by Rabbi Alicia Magal. Everyone is welcome!
Torah Study: Saturday mornings - 11 am
For the JCSVV Community - Take a Stand
Shalom congregants and friends. Conditions in the news require comment. While our congregation does not normally engage in discussions online about current events, we, as President and Rabbi, felt it is important to speak out.
We recognize within our pluralistic community that immigration is a complex issue. We as Jews cannot fail to recognize that many of us are the result of immigration to this country, on the part of parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents. For many of us our survival was the direct result of the protections that the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Panama and other countries of the New World provided to us, as well as others who needed to leave their homes because of economic need and/or persecution.
Regardless of the complexities and the decisions about immigration to the United States, or your personal understanding of these complexities, the use of statements from the Torah to justify what is now happening at our borders cannot be tolerated, and must be refuted. It denies the very foundations of the Judeo-Christian traditions of support for and protection for the sacredness of the bond between parent and child.
As our government denies hearings of asylum to those who try to apply, takes children away from their parents without warning or procedure, and seems to be unable or uninterested to even identify where these children are located, we cannot look the other way.
We cannot condone that a strictly social policy by a few individuals be related in any way to our values as Jews. Those of us in the congregation who know children of the Holocaust, and know their suffering, their losses, and their long-term effects, who watched this process inflicted on our people in the past cannot remain silent, and certainly cannot allow the tenets of our faith to be used to excuse this behavior.
As this is being written, the U.S. government is beginning to bow to the public pressure that this kind of negative publicity places on individuals in an election year. The reality is that, by last count, some 12,000 children have been placed in shelters around the country, many of the youngest in secret locations, and without their parents. Our government’s ability to identify children’s locations or reunite children with their parents is so questionable that our Attorney General has suggested the need to use DNA testing to verify relationship.
This is our government and our country, and we are all responsible until every child is reunited with their family, and the harm that we have perpetrated on them is at least ameliorated because we, of all people, know the results of these actions on the most vulnerable and innocent of individuals.
This episode in the actions of a few is a violent assault on our values as Jews, our values as Americans, and our values as humans. It will not go away with a signature on a piece of paper.
We, however, wanted to issue a statement linked to Jewish values.
One of Judaism's principle values revolves around the concept of Pikuach Nefesh - the preservation of human life.
Pikuach Nefesh is so central to Judaism that it overrides virtually any other religious consideration.
It is, therefore, within this spirit that we, as leaders of the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley, voice our concern over the suffering of children affected by the current immigration crisis.
Human suffering, and the separation of children from their parents, is never acceptable according to Jewish laws and values. We as a people have experienced this first-hand through many tragic chapters in our history.
While the current immigration crisis is a complex one within our sacred and storied democracy, we are confident that solutions can be reached without the need for the youngest and most vulnerable of God's children to suffer.
The JCSVV joins other Jewish and other religious organizations to voice concern over the separation of children from their parents.
We reiterate that human suffering at any level is unacceptable. We pray that as adults continue to discuss and resolve these issues, in the name of compassion and Pikuach Nefesh, affected children be immediately reunited with their loved ones.
Bonnie L. Gustav Golub, President, JCSVV
Rabbi Alicia Magal
There are copies of addresses of our representatives in Washington available at the synagogue if you wish to contact them.
We invite you to join us as we ...
- Celebrate Shabbat, holidays, and life cycle milestones.
- Explore the teachings and relevance of the Torah.
- Embrace Jewish culture and the arts.
- Offer assistance in time of need.
- Create social gatherings for members.
- Interact with the wider local community.
- Provide continuity for future generations of the Jewish people.
Meet Rabbi Alicia Magal ...
Rabbi Alicia Magal has served as the spiritual leader of the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley since 2006. Rabbi Magal brings a depth of experience in Judaic studies, the arts, and education to her position. (See complete Curriculum Vitae.) Rabbi Magal received rabbinical ordination in 2003 from the Aleph Jewish Renewal Rabbinical Program, as well as from the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles, CA.
COMING UP THIS WEEK
Updates from Rabbi Alicia Magal
June 15-21, 2018
Challenging Leadership in ancient times and today
Shalom to all from the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley. Erev Shabbat services begin at 7:30 pm on Friday, June 15, led by Rabbi Alicia Magal, with candle lighting, uplifting songs, inspiring readings, a Torah reading from the portion of the week, a blessing for healing, and the Kaddish, Mourner's prayer. Oneg refreshments are provided by Bonnie and Sheldon Golub. Visitors are always welcome.
Torah study begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 16, with a reading and discussion on Korach, Numbers 16:1 - 18:32, containing the dramatic story of an uprising against Moses and Aaron by a cousin, Korach, who was jealous of their leadership of Israel. Korach convinced members of the tribe of Reuben to join him, by saying that they as members of the tribe stemming from the eldest son of Jacob are entitled to a major leadership role. Moses was stunned. He had shared leadership among seventy elders, judges, and tribal chiefs. This unfair challenge from Korach and the other rebels seemed to be based not on a desire to serve but on ego and a grab for personal power. This rebellion is described in the Talmud as a case of an argument "not for the sake of heaven" as opposed to arguments like those of the first century schools of Hillel and Shammai, who disagreed in their rulings but always with respect and honor. Their arguments are considered to be "for the sake of heaven." When and how do we question authority? This is a challenge for us in contemporary society as well. Please bring a vegetarian dish to share at the pot luck meal after the study session.
Wednesday mornings at 8:30 a.m. all are invited to the egalitarian morning minyan with a beautiful view of the red rocks from the sanctuary. This interactive minyan includes time for questions and comments on the prayers and on the Torah portion of the current week. Visitors are most welcome, and actually needed to enable us to have a full minyan for mourners to say Kaddish. This is an opportunity to begin the day with prayer in a supportive community.
The Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley, located at 100 Meadow Lark Drive off Route 179 in Sedona, is a welcoming, egalitarian, inclusive congregation dedicated to building a link from the past to the future by providing religious, educational, social and cultural experiences. The congregation is unaffiliated with any particular stream of Judaism in order to respect and serve the wide diversity of its members and visitors. The community has many volunteer opportunities. Rabbi Magal is available to speak with anyone on spiritual matters. For information about the synagogue or calendar call 928 204-1286 or check online at www.jcsvv.org.
Rabbi Alicia Magal