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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Never Is Now

Dear Friends,

Watching Dave Chappelle’s opening monologue on Saturday Night Live from this past weekend, I was filled with outrage, sadness, and fear – sentiments echoed in the many emails and messages I’ve received from community members this week.

Chappelle’s monologue came just …

It Can Happen Here

Dear Friends,
The past two weeks have been a whirlwind — I spent an inspiring week in Israel, had the opportunity to gather in Chicago with thousands of my colleagues at the General Assembly of Jewish Federations of North America, and watched with anticipation as Israel went to the po…

Celebrating Our Humanity, Flaws and All

Dear Friends,

The other day during a meeting, I made a comment that was off base — not offensive, but wildly incorrect. Later, a colleague who was present sent me a text that said, “So you’re human. We should celebrate!” Her text was a light-hearted way to make me feel better, but i…

Staying in the Tragic Gap

Dear Friends,

As we emerge from the intensity of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur into the joy of Sukkot, I often feel a combination of relief, lightness of being, and lingering reflection.  

This year, I’ve been thinking about what it takes to stay in what Parker Palmer calls the “tragic…

Beginning Again

Dear Friends, 

Last week was an emotional milestone for my family: My wife and I dropped off our oldest son at college for the first time. It was an experience filled with many emotions, including sadness about letting go and excitement about the possibilities that lie ahead.

I’ll never…