I recently attended this year’s rabbinic ordination ceremony, where the newest American rabbis, including our very own LMU rabbinic intern of the past two years, Megan Brumer, were ordained and officially welcomed as clergy members of the Jewish faith. As I sat in the beautiful sanctuary at Stephen Wise Temple, I felt deeply honored to be sponsoring Rabbi Megan in her journey as I reflected on my own during the past seven years serving as campus rabbi and director of Jewish Student Life at Loyola Marymount University.
It is remarkable to me that I have the daily privilege and honor of serving as a full-time employee, as a rabbi, at this very non-Jewish institution. This partnership and position are unique, successful, and very rewarding. Coming to a university where the Jewish population is roughly 2% to 3% was a daunting challenge, and a huge culture shock, and yet I quickly felt right at home. All are welcome at LMU, and I have never felt anything else.
May is Jewish American Heritage Month, established by President George W. Bush in 2006. This month, let us honor and celebrate the Jewish community’s rich history, traditions, and contributions. May this month be a time for learning, understanding, and appreciation for the vibrant and diverse Jewish culture.
When it was time for me to bless Rabbi Megan as she was about to become an ordained rabbi, it felt right to bless her as the Jesuits do, as they have encouraged and enabled me to do, “To go forth and set the world afire!”
May you be blessed this month, and all your days, to do the same. And in your spare time, you can also try some of the following, as Kate Bigam Kaput, health and wellness writer, suggests:
- Visit a Jewish museum or site of historical Jewish interest;
- Bake challah;
- Listen to a Jewish podcast;
- Read a Jewish book or read something Jewish;
- Watch a Jewish movie or TV show;
- Listen to Jewish music;
- Raise your voice Jewishly;
- Take a class about Judaism;
- Donate to a worthy cause.
Happy Jewish American Heritage Month.