A Message from Marc

Marc's Message

Marc Baker headshot
CJP's President and CEO, Rabbi Marc Baker, writes and teaches about leadership, community, and civic life, bringing the voice of Jewish tradition to contemporary issues.


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Choosing Hope

Dear Friends,

Sometimes I open the weekly Torah portion and find that the story or message speaks precisely to the present moment. This week, we read the story of the “spies” or “scouts” (the meraglim, in Hebrew). As the Israelites near the end of their journey through the wildernes…

One Nation, One Heart

Dear Friends,

This morning, many in our community came together for a virtual gathering for Israel that featured words, song, and prayer. We heard words from the head and words from the heart; words of solidarity and words of compassion; words of grief and words of hope. I am grateful to al…

Restoring Dignity

Dear Friends,

Today is Lag B’Omer, the Jewish holiday that falls on day 33 of the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. According to the rabbinic tradition, this is a period during which we observe certain mourning rituals to commemorate a plague that killed 12,000 pairs of students of th…

The 2,000-Year-Old Hope

Shalom Chaverim,

Yesterday was Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 73rd Independence Day. Following immediately after Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror, the country moves directly from sadness to celebration and elation.

Celebrating virtually for the…

In Every Generation: Confronting Injustice, Racism, Antisemitism

Dear friends,

A powerful theme of the Passover seder is “b’chol dor v’dor” — in every generation. In every generation, we are obligated to see ourselves as if we left Egypt. By doing so, we internalize both our freedom and, at the same time, the fragility, vulnerability, and oppre…