March 15, 2019

The members of Tree Of Life - Or L'Simcha Congregation, Congregation Dor Hadash, and New Light Congregation in Pittsburgh are profoundly saddened by the horrific shooting in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. After the Oct. 27, 2018 attack on our synagogue that killed 11 people in our congregations, we grieve with our fellow sons and daughters of Abraham on the senseless loss of life due to senseless hatred, which is an abomination in a civilized society. We stand beside our Muslim brothers and sisters and mourn alongside the families and friends who have lost loved ones in this unconscionable act of violence. We will continue to work towards a day when all people on this planet can live together in peace and mutual respect.

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After the March 15 attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, we feel compelled to come to the aid of those communities, just as our Jewish community was so compassionately supported only a few short months ago by people around...

And they say miracles don’t occur.  If you watched any news of the rescue of the Thai soccer team and their coach, you might call that miraculous.  Faced with an incredible challenge, a very brave Thai Navy SEAL team performed an amazing act of heroism, despite the tragic loss of one of their own.  When we hear the words “Navy SEAL”, we think of those in the military involved in some sort of dangerous situation, but rarely of this type. 

It is uncommon that we speak of miracles in our world.  When we do, the word is frequently misused.  By winning the 1969 World Series, the Mets became the “Miracle Mets”.  An underdog who wins automatically gets the appellation “miracle”.  The word “miracle” is regularly used when speaking of Chanukah, due to the phrase on the dreidel - Nes Gadol Hayah Sham – a great miracle happened there.  In the Conservative movement’s liturgy, we apply the word nes to the birth of the State of Israel.  Is it possible that miracles surround us daily, b...

An executive compensation consulting firm called Equilar does an annual study for The New York Times showing the top 200 compensated CEOs. This year the average pay of these firms’ employees was revealed, and the disparity is ever increasing.  The highest paid CEO for last year (of firms that filed by April 30) was Hock Tan of Broadcom, who total compensation amounted to $103,211,163, but the firm did not provide employee compensation information.  The second on the list was Frank Bisignano of First Data, whose total package amounted to $102,210,396, which was 2,208 times the average employee compensation $50,406.  How about Walmart? Doug McMillon earned $22.2 million while the average employee earned $19,177. That means it would take that employee over one thousand years to earn the CEO’s salary. Or how about Michael Rapino, the CEO of Live Nation Entertainment, who earned $70.6 million while his employees earned an average of $24,406.  It would take the employee 2,893 years to earn t...

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