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Rabbi Richard A. Block
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President, Central Conference of American Rabbis

Rabbi Block leads the CCAR, which represents more than 2000 rabbis in North America and beyond; it is the rabbinic leadership organization of Reform Judaism. He has been Senior Rabbi of The Temple – Tifereth Israel in Cleveland and Beachwood, OH since 2001. In 2008, Newsweek recognized him as “one of the top 25 pulpit rabbis in America.” He previously served as President of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills, CA, where he received the Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco’s “FAMMY” Award, “in appreciation of extraordinary caring and dedicated community service,” and as Rabbi of Greenwich Reform Synagogue. While in Greenwich, he received the Humanitarian Award of the Council of Churches and Synagogues of Lower Fairfield County, CT, for community leadership "worthy of esteem and commendation" that "made a significant difference in his community and in our whole region." Prior to his rabbinical studies, Rabbi Block graduated with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. He was a law clerk to a US District Court judge and served on active duty in the US Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps, including terms as a Special Assistant US Attorney in San Diego and on the faculty of the Naval Justice School in Newport, RI.

Entries by Rabbi Richard A. Block

BDS: Biased, Dishonest, Self-Defeating

(7) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 8:56 AM

Deciding to boycott Israeli academic institutions, the American Studies Association has aligned itself with the BDS movement, which calls for boycotts, disinvestment, and sanctions against Israel. The ASA resolution, approved by voters who received only pro-BDS materials and no opposing viewpoints, illustrates the moral and political bankruptcy of this approach...

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Facing the Challenge of Syrian Chemical Weapons

(4) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 1:01 PM

Of all the calamities produced by the so-called "Arab Spring," which would more aptly be called "the Arab winter" or "the long, hot Arab summer," Syria is the worst. According to the UN, the Syrian conflict has claimed over 100,000 lives, a majority of them civilians. Tens of thousands more...

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The Questions I Wish I Had Asked

(0) Comments | Posted August 8, 2013 | 8:36 PM

A man calls his mother. She answers the phone in a very faint voice, "Hello."

He asks, "Mom, how are you?"

She replies, "Very weak."

"Why are you weak?"

"I haven't eaten in 27 days."

"Why haven't you eaten in 27 days?!"

"I didn't...

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(236) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 5:17 PM

We've all heard the adage, "Time passes quickly when you're having fun." I offer a corrolary: As we get older, time passes even faster, whether we're having fun or not. Despite advancing age and diminishing powers of recollection, I have distinct memories from our sons' early childhood, of our eagerness...

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The God I Don't Believe In

(188) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 5:37 PM

The search for Ultimate Truth is not an exclusively Jewish quest, but we've been at it longer than any of the world's other existing religions. The Torah credits Abraham with the signal spiritual insight that gave birth to Judaism. Within a few terse verses, the Abraham narrative reveals the Torah's...

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Collective Amnesia: A Distinctively American Malady

(27) Comments | Posted May 26, 2013 | 7:47 PM

"Collective amnesia" is not listed in the DSM, the manual that mental health professionals use to diagnose disorders, but the syndrome flares up each year on Memorial Day. The third leg of a long weekend, Memorial Day signals the imminent arrival of summer, the quasi-official start of golf season, the...

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