Rabbi from synagogue hostage situation accepts new position

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who drew international acclaim for his handling of a hostage situation at his Colleyville, Texas, synagogue in January, has accepted an of­fer to lead a Reform synagogue in North Carolina.

Cytron-Walker will become rabbi of Temple Emanuel, a Reform congregation in Winston-Salem, a city with a population of about 250,000 in the Pied­mont region of North Carolina, best known for its former tobacco industry.

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Renowned physcian, global health care activist Paul Farmer dies at 62

World-renowned physician and medi­cal anthropologist Paul Farmer died of an acute cardiac event in his sleep on February 21. He was 62.

Farmer, who is credited with helping to improve health-care equity around the globe, was deeply influenced by his Catholic faith and by liberation theology in particular. He maintained a close friendship with Gustavo Gutiérrez, the Peruvian Catholic priest credited with creating liberation theology, and carried a “preferential option for the poor”—a core liberation theology concept—into all of his work, even at secular institutions.

Help for Korean pastors in cross-racial ministry

In 2015, Grace Pak was serving as president of the National Association of Korean-American United Methodist Pastors Serving Cross-Racial/Cultural Appointment. Pak was passionate in her efforts to help her community become effective and faithful pastors, and she knew there had to be a new way to facili­tate that work.

“There were no learning opportunities, which were needed in the CRCC community even though there were plenty of experts who had gifts and talents in ministry,” Pak said.

Texas’ new attack on transgender care called ‘political ploy’

One week before statewide primary elections, Texas governor Greg Abbott and Texas attorney general Ken Paxton launched an attack on the state’s transgender children and their families, threatening to charge parents, teachers, and medical professionals with child abuse if they help provide gender-affirming care to minors.

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks about faith

Immediately after President Joe Biden introduced Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee to the US Supreme Court on February 25, the federal appeals court judge stepped up to the podium and appealed to the divine.

“I must begin these very brief remarks by thanking God for delivering me to this point in my professional journey,” she said. “My life has been blessed beyond measure, and I do know that one can only come this far by faith.”

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Ukrainian-American Jews pray, wait for news

Following news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been scary in a personal way for Rabbi Menachem Shemtov and his wife, Racheli. Racheli grew up in Kyiv, where her father, Rabbi Jonathan Markovitch, is referred to as chief rabbi. Markovitch and his family had the opportunity to leave recently but chose to stay.

“They felt it was their duty to be there for their community,” said Shemtov, the director of Chabad Georgetown in Washington, DC.

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