Watch our next Justice Interview Series installment with our friend and board member, Rabbi Shalom Bochner.
In this video, Rabbi Shalom and Rev. Bryson White have a conversation about how Jewish identities are both formed through and contribute towards social justice movements in the United States.
Rabbi Shalom serves as the spiritual leader and director of education for Congregation Beth Shalom, the Center for Jewish Life in Modesto and Greater Stanislaus County. Rabbi Shalom has been with Beth Shalom since 2013. He has a background in formal and informal Jewish education, including outdoor education, with more than 30 years of experience. Rabbi Shalom has a BA in Sociology and Judaic Studies from the State University of New York at Albany and an MS in Education from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. He studied at Reishit Chochmah in Berkeley along with Aleph Jewish Renewal Semichah program, and was ordained in Jerusalem, Israel, in 2003 through Pirchei Shoshanim, a traditional text-based program. Rabbi Bochner is a member of the Board of Rabbis of Northern California and the East Bay Board of Rabbis.
Rabbi Shalom brings his musical talents and interests to his rabbinate and is a guitarist, drummer, and song writer. His other interests include hiking, downhill skiing, long distance bike riding, and modern music, including the Vermont jam band Phish. He has previously worked at synagogues and Hillels, including seven years directing Santa Cruz Hillel. He has directed and worked at residence and summer day camps, youth groups, congregational schools, day schools, and adult educational programs. Rabbi Shalom’s area of expertise is in presenting traditional texts and rituals in user-friendly, approachable, and interactive ways. He has experience and comfort working with the full range of Jewish movements and expressions. Rabbi Shalom is a compelling educator with extensive experience teaching and learning with adults, families, college students, and children of all ages. Rabbi Bochner is a native of Albany, NY, is married to Shoshana Bochner, and has two children: Nitzan and Yuval.
The ordinance represents the intensifying war against unhoused people occurring all over California. “Every day someone is being swept off the road. They are being told to relocate and they are losing everything they have and being arrested.”
During the six week program, we have been working with 20 campers—ranging in age from 5 to 22—to expose them to climate issues such as air quality inequity, environmental toxins and our fragile ecosystem. Campers are also learning about community organizing. “One of the things that has been most fascinating is watching the kids take something that they are passionate about and understand, like the video game ‘Among Us,’ and applying it to what they are learning about climate justice."