From Rabbi Eli Cohen



Dear Members and Friends of Chadeish Yameinu,

Yom Kippur is such a long day of prayer and meditations that some of us, including our Chadeish Yameinu Social Action Committee, Board and Rabbi, believe that a “walk” to demonstrate our commitment for Tikun Olam/Social Justice in action is a wonderful way to raise our conscience on the Day of Atonement.

As part of the YK Walkout initiative taking place around the country (see, we, along with those of other faiths who would like to join us, will begin the day by examining together what actions we can take as individuals and congregations to atone for our apathy or lack of commitment to Tikun Olum – the world’s repair. We will do that by walking with others, literally taking steps “to develop our own social action focus, be it poverty, hunger, equality, immigration, homelessness, restoring American democracy, freedom of the press, protecting the web of life and God’s creatures on our planet” or something else; and then sharing what we are repenting for.

We know you will agree this act of conscience is in keeping with the Haftarah for Yom Kippur and its plea for action: “No, this is the fast I desire: To unlock fetters of wickedness… to let the oppressed go free … to share your bread with the hungry …take the wretched poor into your home …when you see the naked, to clothe him.” (Isaiah 58:6).

We will meet in downtown Santa Cruz at the Galleria on Front Street, across from Cooper Street, on Yom Kippur morning (Wednesday, September 19th) at 8:45 am. Inviting others from different religious traditions, we will walk to the Clock Tower, with signs reflecting our theme or focus with menorahs, shofars, or other religious symbols. We will be there from about 9 to 9:25 so Jewish participants will have time to get to the Yom Kippur morning Service that starts at 10:00 am.

What better time than on our most sacred day, to act, reflect, and redirect ourselves to pursue the values of t’shuvah, repentance, providing an opportunity for those of us who who are troubled by the disconnect between values that we hold most sacred — both Jewish and American — and the current actions of our federal government.”

The idea for this initiative comes from R. Moshe Levin (a Conservative Rabbi, recently retired from Congregation Ner Tamid in San Francisco), and Abigail Grafton (a leader of the Aquarian Minyan of Berkeley) — but modified as a YK invitation to walk with us by Rabbi Philip Posner.

Rabbi Eli Cohen