We Were Strangers. Thus, We Can’t Be Silent

The following is a sermon delivered at Temple Oheb Shalom in Sandusky, Ohio.   This weekend, we conclude our celebration of Passover, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt and the liberation of our people oh so long ago. As we put the finishing touches on this year’s experience of Pesach, I want to take a minute…

March 20th: What Do We Do When Our Tradition And Our Values No Longer Match?

During my community organizing course last week, I met a Methodist Pastor named David Meredith. He spoke on a panel of faith leaders discussing their activism within their congregations that they serve. He spoke beautifully about his calling to social justice, and his desire to use his pulpit as a mouthpiece for helping others. Two…

November 15th: Sharing the Love of Judaism

Over the past few days, I attended a conference discussing the journey of conversion to Judaism by those who choose to join the faith. We examined curricula for Introduction to Judaism courses, met with a panel of converts to learn about their experience, and worked with rabbis to learn their process for working with their…

Rosh Hashanah Morning Sermon 2017

Below is a transcript of the sermon given by Austin Zoot at Temple Oheb Shalom in Sandusky, Ohio on September 21st, 2017. When the year 5776 began two years ago, I was living in Israel, beginning my rabbinical school journey. During that year, I was learning about the basics of our faith, the history of our…

July 11th: What Mega Churches Have to Teach

Growing up, I was fascinated with Joel Osteen. The televangelist was able to reach an audience on a weekly basis that blew me away, and his words were able to have an impact that was so incredibly powerful and moving. I had always wondered: what could we, as the Jewish community, learn from seeing his…

June 30th: An Obituary for Truth

For as long as anyone can remember, humanity has been recording our version of truth. From stone tablets and cave drawing, people have attempted to understand the world around us through written and visual means, taking stock of the world and attempting to come to terms with the profundity of what it means to occupy…

June 13th: The Jewish Whiteness Question

I took a Southwest flight for the first time this past week. I experienced the fierce battle that is finding an aisle seat with a priority spot in the B section, and waited, while the rest of the plane filled up around me. Finally, a man and his 10-year-old daughter sat down in the two…