For this podcast episode, I (Lee Ann) sat down with Rabbis Nina Beth Cardin, Edwin Goldberg and Rhoda Harrison and discussed the upcoming Passover holiday. While my guests were from different denominations and backgrounds, it was delightful to learn of the similarities with which they all viewed this particular Jewish holiday, as well as their commitment to the same social justice issues that ring across the millennia and their openness to the varieties of Seder experiences.
Rabbi/Cantor Rhoda Harrison is the first voice you’ll hear today…She has her Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University. Her dissertation investigated the accommodation of liturgy to modernity. Not only is she a smart and compassionate rabbi, Jewish educator and liturgist, but she is also a cantor with a glorious lyric coloratura voice. Currently, she serves at Har Sinai as Education Director, but at the beginning of her career she was Har Sinai’s cantor. She also served for years as the rabbi and spiritual leader of Temple Emmanuel of Baltimore. When not at temple you can find Rhoda doing crossfit and working on her cabaret repertoire. Her next cabaret performance at Germano’s (in Baltimore) is June 16th, 2018. Find out more HERE!
Next is Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin– prolific writer, educator, social activist and environmentalist, who has, as it were, a “community pulpit” instead of a “congregational pulpit”. In Baltimore she has founded and lead numerous organizations, including the Jewish Women’s Resource Center, the Baltimore Jewish Environmental Network and the Baltimore Orchard Project. As an author, she has a few publications to her name! She fashions spiritual resources from the Jewish tradition and makes them relevant for the post-modern world in which we live. Some of her works include: Visions of Holiness in the Everyday; Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope: A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Infertility and Pregnancy Loss; The Tapestry of Jewish Time: A Spiritual Guide to Holidays and Life-Cycle Events; and, Rediscovering the Jewish Holidays: Traditions in a Modern Voice. Currently she is in the middle of writing her next book, simply titled, Rabbi.
And finally, Rabbi Edwin Goldberg– senior rabbi at Temple Sholom in Chicago. He has served congregations in Coral Gables, Florida, Los Angeles and Cincinnati. He is the author of many books, including: Midrash for Beginners, Heads and Tales: Stories of the Sages to Enlighten Our Minds, Swords and Plowshares: Jewish Views of War and Peace, Love Tales from the Talmud, Saying No and Letting Go: Jewish Wisdom on Making Room for What Matters Most. He has served as the Coordinating Editor of the new Reform Jewish Machzor, Mishkan HaNefesh. A companion commentary, Divrei Mishkan HaNefesh, edited by Rabbi Goldberg, is due out this spring.
PART 1: THE EXODUS STORY
PART II: THE TELLING
PART III: SCRUBBING BUBBLES AND HAMETZ
PART IV: STEPPING THROUGH THE DOOR
PART V: MAKING THE OLD STORY NEW
PART VI: WHAT IF?
Big, heartfelt thanks go out to those who made this episode possible with their assistance. First, to the guests who took time out of their busy lives to talk with me. My love and appreciation to Rabbis Cardin, Harrison and Goldberg. For the musical interludes between the episode segments, Craig Taubman is the gifted musical artist to whom we owe such gratitude. You will want to hear all of his work at Craignco.com, but if you don’t do anything else, pick up/stream/find/GET his album, Passover Lounge. He and his colleagues are impacting the world one event, song, inspiration and ripple at a time.
To friends and colleagues, Herb Levy, Kim Sit, and Alexander Laurin, who gave me advice as I put this episode together–thank you!
And to my brother, John Hopkins, who is a talented audio engineer and music producer in New York City–I just could not have done this elaborate episode without his expertise. He brought my whole production and vision together. (I love you–I really, REALLY love you, John!) Please check out his work at Just John Music.
Sharing the Journey: The Haggadah for the Contemporary Family by Alan S. Yoffie and illustrated by Mark Podwal
For This We Left Egypt?: A Passover Haggadah for Jews and Those Who Love Them by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel
The New Freedom Seder by Arthur Waskow (free, printable .pdf version!)
A Night of Questions: A Passover Haggadah by Rabbi Joy Levitt and Rabbi Michael Strassfeld, illustrated by Jeffrey Schrier
New American Haggadah by Jonathan Safran Foer and Nathan Englander
Family Haggadah: A Seder for All Generations, edited by Pamela B. Schaff
Maccabeats — Mah Nishtanah (a favorite of mine!)
10 ounces good imported bittersweet chocolate broken into pieces
½ c unsalted butter at room temp
½ c sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
5 large eggs separated
1/3 c finely ground almonds in a food processor
2 tbsp kosher for Passover brandy
Whipped cream (optional)
If you like what you heard, please subscribe to this podcast to make sure you get every upcoming episode. You don’t want to miss it and I don’t want to miss you! And don’t forget:
I love you, I really, REALLY love you!
"Smile and the world smiles with you." That's the motto she lives by. Lee Ann is perfectly imperfect and unabashed about it even as she strives for higher and "better" every day. Both her can-do and her foibles are as fabulous as her smile. So take a moment and breathe in Lee Ann's "hooray" for today! Ms. Hopkins is host of the podcast Hooray Weekly, founder of The Hooray Daily and Hooray Living, a speaker, writer and do-gooder, who believe-it-or-not has been a public-interest attorney and clergywoman for longer than she cares to admit. Check out her books, You Are All That: Creating a Great Life with Affirmations, and Hooray for You: 365 Get-Up-and-Go-Go Quotes for Your Year. When you write her, send along a clergy and attorney joke. She loves 'em!