Hearing Patrick Kennedy April 12: Mental Health, Addiction and Compassion in Our Community

March 17, 2016
common_struggle_cover     In former congressperson Patrick Kennedy’s Memoir, A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction, he describes a scene that took place just after he revealed his struggles to the New York Times.  There he was at a family occasion, surrounded bu relatives who were not happy about his public truth-telling.  Yet, there were some exceptions.  His cousin, Maria (Shriver) showed compassion to Patrick and said she thought was he was doing was fantastic.
     Maria showed support, she chose to bear witness rather than look the other way, and she offered her presence.  I have come to believe that this is what the Misheberach, our blessing for healing, is about.  More than it is a plea to God for healing power, perhaps the Misheberach is a plea to each other for the healing power we can provide others when we show support, choose to bear witness, and offer presence.

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Crowd Sourcing Sermons

June 26, 2014


Imagine that you are a member of the Rodeph Shalom clergy team, and you could tap into the collective wisdom of our congregation to help you write your sermons this summer.

That is exactly what we are going to do this summer with CROWDSOURCING SUMMER SERMON SERIES.

What is Crowdsourcing? It is the process of obtaining ideas or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, especially from the online community. (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2014)

What is Crowdsourcing a Sermon? It is an opportunity for us to draw inspiration from your comments and to encourage conversation among our congregants on important Jewish issues. Crowdsourcing sermons will be a way for us to find an opportunity to draw closer as a community. It will be a way for us to fulfill our Vision of creating profound connections Read the rest of this entry »

Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month

February 4, 2014

Our congregant and community leader, Judith Creed, shares JChai resources for adults and a message about the importance of inclusion for Jews with disabilities.

When my son, Jonah, was born in 1973 and diagnosed as being disabled, the picture for people with special needs was pretty bleak. There were no social programs, synagogues did not accept special needs children in their schools, and we all were worried about the future of our kids. In 1987 a group of parents and myself got together and we opened our first group home—that would include Shabbat dinners, holidays, keeping  a kosher-style kitchen and would teach our children how to live independently. Read the rest of this entry »

An Inscription for the Building Expansion

November 20, 2013
  • In addition to the name Congregation Rodeph Shalom, the front of the building expansion will include a purpose-driven quotation from Jewish tradition.  We value your ideas and hope you will participate!  Please submit your suggestion to the clergy and leadership through Charlene McDonald at cmcdonald@rodephshalom.org.

More Great News about RS Building Expansion

November 13, 2013

night viewOur Beacon on Broad plans were covered again this morning!  Check out today’s article here and listen to KYW for more.  This transformation belongs to the whole congregation!  Please participate by contributing to the to Legacy Campaign.  And learn more about the project here.


Building for Profound Connections

November 12, 2013
An architectural rendering of a planned expansion of Congregation Rodeph Shalom. Here, the expansion as viewed from Broad Street. (handout photo)
Legacy renovation and expansion begins next month! Visionary design ensures this is not just beautiful square footage; it is values-driven space that will enable us to further our vision: to create profound connections.
(architectural rendering by KieranTimberlake, as viewed from Broad Street)
Read more in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer.


Support Group for Parents of Addicts and Alcoholics

October 10, 2013
Learn about our Caring Community’s support for people struggling with addiction and brokenness (congregants, or not; Jewish or not):
Support Group for Parents of Addicts and Alcoholics
*2nd and 4th Tuesdays starting on November 12 from 7-8:30pm
*Rodeph Shalom, parking available, enter on Mt. Vernon Street
Dear Community,
     We are members of the Caron Parents Group; parents of children with drug and alcohol addictions and, often, co-occurring mental illness. These diseases affect their mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Their addiction and suffering has made us sick, too. How can a parent not be affected by the behaviors and trauma of an addicted child? Read the rest of this entry »