Menachem Creditor

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Menachem Creditor is the rabbi of Congregation Netivot Shalom,[1] in Berkeley, California, a blogger for the Times of Israel and a contributor to the Huffington Post. Rabbi Creditor is a Trustee of American Jewish World Service (AJWS),[2] founder of Rabbis Against Gun Violence,[3] sits on the Social Justice Commission of the Rabbinical Assembly, chair of The Masorti Center, and is a member of the Chancellor's Rabbinic Leadership Team at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

A frequent speaker at synagogues, college campuses, and Jewish communities around the country and in Israel on questions of Jewish Identity, Leadership, Activism and Spirituality, Rabbi Creditor was named by Newsweek as one of the 50 Most Influential Rabbis in America.[4] Creditor has been described as "one of the most outspoken, activist rabbis, speaking and organizing on behalf of a range of progressive causes",[5] "a vocal proponent of gay and women’s rights"[6] and "a leading advocate of gay ordination."[7]

In August 2012, Creditor traveled to Ghana, Africa, with American Jewish World Service, and has since become increasingly vocal on issues such as global slavery and urban gun violence, partnering with national faith-based organizing groups such as the PICO Network[8] and Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice.[9] He has twice been invited as an American faith leader to the White House, presenting "A Prophetic Response to Gun Violence" and the PICO interfaith "Healing the Soul of America from Gun Violence" statement[10] As an outcome of the clergy gathering, Creditor edited and published a collection of rabbinic voices as "Peace in Our Cities: Rabbis Against Gun Violence."[11] The book, now in its second printing, has been distributed to congressional leaders, and Creditor's contemporary Prayer to end Gun Violence[12] has been distributed by interfaith organizations around the United States.

In August 2014, he edited and published in less than two days a collection entitled "The Hope: American Jewish Voices in Support of Israel"[13][14] in solidarity with Israel during attacks from Hamas in Gaza.

In March 2016, Creditor helped lead a rabbinic walk-out[15] during the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. when Donald Trump took the stage.[16] Then, following Trump's speech, Creditor addressed the 18,000 conference attendees calling upon them to reject "the politics of hate"[17]

Following the shooting massacre in Orlando in June 2016, Creditor edited a rapid-response book,[18] "Not by Might: Channeling the Power of Faith to End Gun Violence," including 62 faith leaders as contributors and a foreword by Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action.

Creditor was politically active during 2016 American Presidential campaign, calling upon the American Jewish Community to reject the candidacy of Trump. Upon Trump's election, Rabbi Creditor collaborated with Rabbi David Paskin and released a compilation album entitled "There is Hope," featuring the leading voices in American Jewish music and available for free download.[19] The album was designed to support "anyone in need of reassurance and comfort in these uncertain times.".[20] In February 2017 Creditor also compiled and published a written collection of Jewish voices in opposition to Trump's election, entitled "We Will Not Be Silent." [21]

On February 6, 2017, Creditor was one of 19 American Rabbis arrested at a protest of President Donald Trump’s refugee ban in front of the Trump International Hotel in New York City.[22][23]

Creditor first received national attention for his controversial 2005 speech at the biennial conference of the Conservative Movement, urging the expulsion of non-egalitarian congregations from the movement.[24] He was a co-founder of ShefaNetwork: The Conservative/Masorti Movement Dreaming from Within,[25] co-founder of KeshetRabbis: The Alliance of Gay-Friendly Conservative/Masorti Rabbis,[26] and was the founding International Co-Chair of Rabbis for Women of the Wall.[27] Rabbi Creditor appeared as a "central figure" in Josh Kornbluth's 2010 monologue Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews? and Kornbluth's 2013 monologue Sea of Reeds[28][29][30]

Some of his other books include the transliterated Shabbat prayerbook "Tov LeHodot," the children's books "A Pesach Rhyme" and "Avodah: A Yom Kippur Story," "A Manifesto for the Future: The ShefaNetwork Archive," "Primal Prayers: Spiritual Responses to a Real World," and "And Yet We Love: Poems" (with a foreword by Ruth Messinger, Global Ambassador for American Jewish World Service).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shalom! Welcome to Netivot Shalom! | Congregation Netivot Shalom". Netivotshalom.org. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  2. ^ "Rabbi Menachem Creditor". American Jewish World Service. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Grassroots rabbinical action group fixes its sights on gun violence". Times of Israel. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "America's Top 50 Rabbis for 2013 (PHOTOS)". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  5. ^ Newsweek, "America's Top 50 Rabbis for 2013", March 21, 2013
  6. ^ Marissa Brostoff, "Conservative Bigs Tackle New Realities", The Forward, November 30, 2007.
  7. ^ Ben Harris, "Conservative rabbis open doors to gays, sort of", Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, December 5, 2006.
  8. ^ "Rabbi writes special prayer for Newtown anniversary". Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  9. ^ "How Bend the Arc Is Fighting Donald Trump". Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  10. ^ Hamil R. Harris (January 30, 2013). "Diverse clergy group launches effort to curb urban violence". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  11. ^ Emma Silvers (February 14, 2013). "Galvanized by gun violence: Local Jews getting involved in efforts to stem the tide". JWeekly.com. San Francisco. Retrieved February 14, 2013. 
  12. ^ Ghert-Zand, Renee (12 December 2013). "Rabbi writes special prayer for Newtown anniversary". The Times of Israel. timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 31 December 2013. To mark the first anniversary of the tragedy, Rabbi Menachem Creditor of the Conservative Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, California has written a special version of El Malei Rachamim, the Jewish prayer for the dead, for the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut mass shooting. 
  13. ^ Dan Pine, "Berkeley rabbi writes and publishes book about Israel in 48 hours", J. Weekly, August 7, 2014.
  14. ^ Steve Lipman, "Rabbi Pens Book On Israel/Gaza Conflict In 36 Hours", New York Jewish Week, August 15, 2014.
  15. ^ "Rabbis, Activists Ditch Trump at AIPAC Confab". Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  16. ^ Newsweek, "Opposing Trump at AIPAC Is No Partisan Stance — It’s Jewish and All-American Patriotism", May 5, 2016
  17. ^ "PC Activist Profile - Rabbi Menachem Creditor", May 5, 2016
  18. ^ "Channeling The Power of Faith to End Gun Violence". Retrieved 2016-08-16. 
  19. ^ Newsweek, "US Jewish musicians offer up songs of hope to buoy post-election spirits", November 24, 2016
  20. ^ "There is Hope". Retrieved 2017-02-17. 
  21. ^ "We Will Not Be Silent: Voices of Jewish Resistance", February 1, 2017
  22. ^ JWeekly, "Creditor, 18 other rabbis arrested during protest at Trump hotel", February 7, 2017
  23. ^ New York Times "About 20 Rabbis Arrested DUring Protest Over Trump Travel Ban", February 6, 2017
  24. ^ Scott A. Shay, Getting our groove back: how to energize American Jewry (Devora Publishing, 2007), ISBN 978-1-932687-85-9, p. 192. Excerpt available at Google Books.
  25. ^ "ShefaNetwork: The Conservative/Masorti Movement Dreaming from Within". Shefa Network. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  26. ^ Pine, Dan (10 August 2007). "New rabbi hopes to 'build and dream' in Berkeley". j. the Jewish news weekly of Northern California. JWeekly.com. Retrieved 19 February 2012. In 2003, Creditor co-founded Keshet Rabbis, a campaign to push Conservative Judaism to change policies regarding gay and lesbian Jews. This was long before the movement opened its seminary last year to gays and lesbians. 
  27. ^ "I am Not Free When my Sister is Silenced". Women of the Wall. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  28. ^ Dan Pine, "Andy Warhol: Good for this Jew", J. Weekly, April 15, 2010.
  29. ^ Pat Craig, "Theater review: Josh Kornbluth scores again with new solo show 'Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews?'", San Jose Mercury News, April 13, 2010.
  30. ^ Emma Silvers, "Sea of reeds: An actor’s journey to find his faith", JWeekly, June 20, 2013.