1 Sivan 5773 (May 10, 2013)
When I am in Jerusalem, I look for metaphors to describe the situation of the day. Today, on this historic Rosh Hodesh Sivan, I am in Beachwood, and without even looking I found the metaphor to describe what transpired at the Kotel this morning. When Anat Hoffman spoke at the Chautauqua Institute in late July of 2011, a cardinal was perched in the tree above her almost the entire time. When it flew, it flew around the beautiful outdoor auditorium where Anat was speaking to a standing room crowd. Even before that......
16 Iyyar 5773 (April 26, 2013)
I write this post late Friday afternoon at La Guardia airport, reveling in being a part of the community that brought “Pippin” back to the Broadway stage. This is another beautiful story of the personal quest the individual of depth embarks upon to find meaning and purpose in life. The revival has woven in a circus element which enhances the story and the score. And what does this have to do with the goals of the SRSS Project? I truly feel that I have been called to this mission, using music to......
7 Iyyar 5773 (April 17, 2013)
I have put this in “Fran’s Voice” because I speak in the name of Yitz Greenberg, often. He is truly my Rav. To read these words, while Mac is barking loudly in my Beachwood backyard, is a bit surreal……. but this is a direct quite from Rav Greenberg’s piece which is being widely circulated. “In truth, I believe that Modern Orthodoxy owes an apology to the Women of the Wall for remaining silent while they were being harassed and denied their religious rights by authorities misusing the levers of a democratic society. ......
28 Nisan 5773 (April 8, 2013)
I write from my living room in Jerusalem, anticipating the Israel premiere of SRSS tomorrow night (actually it’s after 12 so the show is tonight!). Dr. Jay Shir has done a wonderful job of preparing the chorus and orchestra and I am confident that the message will be delivered in all its beauty. Having my collaborator Dr. Jay Kawarsky here is truly special – especially since he has been working on the newest addition to the song cycle at the piano here in my Jerusalem home. We had posters printed that have......
27 Nisan 5773 (April 7, 2013)
It is a beautiful sunny Sunday morning in Jerusalem and my garden, the one we sing about in Woman at the Wall, beckons to me. However, the call of the birds is in direct competition with the pounding of the jackhammers, so I sip my coffee inside, with the incessant sound of construction as background noise. Despite the racket, I am still able to enjoy the beauty of this sacred spot from my windows, as the sunlight kisses the olive tree, the lavender bush and the beautiful flowers that adorn my......
11 Nisan 5773 (March 22, 2013)
As I look out the window, the view does not suggest Shabbat HaGadol on our doorstep yet the calendar clearly says 12 Nisan, March 22, 2 days past vernal equinox! The snow and cold is a reminder that no matter what, nature will have Her say. Mother Nature, Father Time, whatever metaphor we use, we know there is a Higher Power and we know that this Higher Power wants something from the Jewish People. The winds of change blowing throughout the world summon us to continue acting on behalf of the modern......
23 Adar 5773 (March 5, 2013)
Dennis B. Ross offers an eloquent playbook for Israeli and Palestinian leadership in his recent New York Times opinion piece, “To Achieve Mideast Peace, Suspend Disbelief,” (March 4, 2012). “These are hard times for trying to promote, much less make, peace between Palestinians and Israelis,” he writes. “Most Israelis and Palestinians simply don’t believe that peace is possible,” he notes, before setting forth a 14-point agenda for discussion that could generate palpable change in the status quo. There’s another status quo that similarly must be addressed, even during such hard times......
10 Adar 5773 (February 20, 2013)
Although I was not at the Town Hall meeting on Tuesday in Jerusalem, having flown back to Cleveland on Sunday, I spent most of my recent 12 days in what I call my other Neighborhood dwelling, talking and writing about the situation at the Kotel. I URGE the reelected Chair of the Executive of JAFI, Natan Sharansky, to DEMAND that the status quo change at the Western Wall, haKotel haMa’aravi. I am sure the only reason I was not led away, to be detained, on Rosh Hodesh Adar is because I was......
5 Adar 5773 (February 15, 2013)
Shabbat arrives here in Jerusalem in about an hour. On this windy day, the fragrant blossoms on the trees have been blown about, a bit like snowflakes. I am sitting at my work spot in my apartment, gazing out at the olive tree which was planted 10 years ago. This is the first year that the tree has produced black olives. It takes years for the tree to mature to the point that olives appear. In a similar way, it takes years for social change to work its way from ideas, to......
1 Adar 5773 (February 11, 2013)
They say that Adar is the time to be happy, to celebrate and rejoice. Yet once again the police of the Jewish State taped me as I raised my voice to proclaim that the Holy One is good and the world filled with grace. How is it possible that this is the situation in our People’s most Holy Place? A minyan of women detained today, on this first day of Adar, the police took a different approach, our morning prayers were not marred. Yet when it was time to read the Torah......