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How long will we as a nation tolerate the NRAs defense of the status quo?

The heinous murders in Orlando have thrown a pall of gloom over the nation as we struggle with our feelings of helplessness in the face of more gun violence. Despite dozens of  legislative proposals to deal with gun violence, mental health, homophobia and racism we feel stymied as various interest groups, especially the NRA and the gun industry, do all they can to maintain the status quo in Congress and in state legislatures.
It’s hard to imagine that this log jam will soon give way. It has taken decades for the gun lobby to achieve their almost total dominance in our legislatures. They reached their highest goal in 2005 with the passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act signed into law by President George W Bush. It holds the entire gun industry harmless from any claims, except manufacturing defects, arising from the use of fire arms. This is something even the drug industry has never been able to achieve.

Our nation is bitterly divided by history, ideology, economics and race. The current wave of gun mass murders only highlights the absurd weakness of our gun laws, the helplessness of local police and FBI and the many fissures in our society. The NRA and its allies play upon these divisions in order to further their agenda, which is to vehemently oppose any legislation which might restrict the availability of fire arms.
My hope once was that the nation may be nearing a tipping point. Many thought this tipping point would have been The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children aged between 6 and 7 years old, as well as six adult staff members. Now with 49 dead in Orlando the questions about our priorities as a society are again on people’s minds.

I honestly do not expect any major breakthroughs, though several new gun control laws are being moved through the legislature in Sacramento.
My only question now is what obscene, pointless and revolting mass murder outrage will be next? And how long will we as a nation remain complacent with the NRAs defense of the status quo?

Steven L Silver, Rabbi Temple Menorah

Rebeccah Yussman named Camp Menorah Director

Dear Friends,

Summer is almost here! I am delighted to announce that a very talented Jewish educator, our current rabbinic intern, Rebeccah Yussman, will be the director of Camp Menorah this summer. You have gotten to know her as a big presence in our Religious School, on the Bimah for Tot Shabbats and as part of the Tuvia Kabbalat Shabbat team. She is warm, she heimishe, she is capable!


Rebeccah Birken Yussman has worked in Jewish Education for over twenty years, beginning as a madrichah (classroom assistant) at her home synagogue in Northridge, California, and then teaching Hebrew school and Israeli dance in college at UC Berkeley.

Utilizing her Master of Jewish Education degree from American Jewish University, she has also held positions at several local synagogues as a Hebrew and Judaica teacher for children and adults as well as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah coordinator and director of education. She has also worked with several Jewish day and residential camps across California, including several years as the Camp Educator for our own Camp Menorah.

Her daughter Miriam is in the Parpar class at Tuvia, and her son Matan is a Tuvia alum and a student in the religious school. Rebeccah expects to be ordained as a rabbi at the Academy for Jewish Religion in May of 2017.

To learn more about Camp Menorah click here. Rabbi Rebeccah's email is camp@templemenorah.org. Please help me welcome her into this new opportunity for her as she continues to study to become a Rabbi.

Have a great Summer at Camp Menorah.

Steven L Silver, Rabbi.
(310) 316-8444 ext. 104


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