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    Gonzo Judaism: A Bold Path for Renewing an Ancient Faith

    A conversation and dinner with Rabbi Niles Goldstein

    When: Monday, 12/2/2019 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

    Where: Leslie Community Meeting Room (Bldg D) Room D-129

    OFJCC Palo Alto JCCHere is a book that is both a clarion call for a new Jewish agenda and a blueprint for an adventurous but genuine path toward spiritual growth and religious wisdom. Rabbi Niles Goldstein, founder of The New Shul in New York City and now the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom in Napa Valley, says that most conventional Jewish institutions are out-of-touch and have relied too much on nostalgia, guilt and fear—none of which resonate with modern Jews. He challenges Jews to adopt the "gonzo" spirit—the rebellious, risk-taking attitude associated with the gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson—and to take creative, innovative steps to reshape and revitalize contemporary Judaism.

    Goldstein urges readers to take a fresh look at Judaism, to become educated about its history and tradition, to discover what is authentic, yet what also feels spiritually relevant and meaningful, and to create a Jewish culture and community rooted in affirmation, joy and celebration.

    Rabbi Goldstein, an experienced and dynamic Reform rabbi and educator, is also the award-winning author or editor of ten books, including Gonzo Judaism and God at the Edge. He was the founding rabbi of The New Shul, an innovative and independent synagogue in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, which he served for over a decade. He is also a founder of the Napa Center for Thought & Culture. Prior to his arrival at CBS Napa, Rabbi Goldstein worked in a variety of congregational, interfaith and academic settings while based in his native Chicago.

    OFJCC Palo Alto JCC

    Rabbi Goldstein has been a thought leader and sought-after speaker in the American Jewish community for many years, and he teaches widely on spirituality, personal growth, the environment, leadership and congregational innovation. He has written for Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, the Forward and many other publications, and he has been featured in Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and other venues, as well as on radio and television.

    Rabbi Goldstein is the National Jewish Chaplain for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, a position he has held since his ordination. He is also a member of PEN, the Renaissance Institute and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Rabbi Goldstein has served on the faculty of New York University, Loyola University, Eastern Mennonite University and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

    Rabbi Goldstein is an avid traveler and outdoor adventurer. He has mushed dogs in Alaska and ridden horses in Mongolia, and has done humanitarian work with communities in Central Asia and the Caucasus. He is also a longtime practitioner of the martial arts, holding black belts in both karate and tae kwon do.

    A complimentary copy of Rabbi Goldstein's book, Gonzo Judaism, is included with the registration fee.

    The event includes dinner.


    Monday, December 2
    7:30–9:00 PM
    Room D-129
    $18 General Public | $15 Members and J-Pass holders | All tickets include a copy of Gonzo Judaism
    Contact: Tova Birnbaum | (650) 223-8694 | [email protected]



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