Showing posts from July, 2009

What do the rabbis have to do with the mayors? - What you need to know about the Jewish side of the New Jersey corruption scandal

Dear friends, I wrote the following, to sum up some of my experiences today, and to clarify some very deep misconceptions about the role of Jews and rabbis in this scandal. Incidentally, the single most helpful thing I have read to explain the scandal is the Department of Justice press release, here: ==================================== What do the rabbis have to do with the mayors? What you need to know about the Jewish side of the New Jersey corruption scandal What do the rabbis have to do with the mayors? A nervous caller to my office this morning was certainly wondering. "Rabbi Scheinberg? Are you okay?" "Yes, I'm fine." "Because my neighbor just told me that the mayor and the rabbi in Hoboken were arrested! I said, 'no, not Rabbi Rob, there's no way!' But she said, 'You know, sometimes it's the people who se

Comments on corruption arrests in New Jersey

Here is the note I sent to the congregation earlier today. Yes, it makes for interesting reading next to my comments at Mayor Cammarano's inauguration (see below). Dear friends, You may have seen the news reports this morning about the arrest of Hoboken's Mayor Peter Cammarano, as well as various other political leaders and religious leaders in New Jersey, by the FBI in a wide-ranging corruption and money laundering probe. (Link Many of us find these arrests shocking. If the allegations are true, these political and religious leaders have violated the public trust in a major and unacceptable way and need to suffer the consequences of their actions. The situation is a reminder to us of the high degree of ethical behavior we demand from our public officials and institutional leaders. I hope that the judicial system will yield just verdicts in their cases. In the meantime, I think of them and their f

Rabbi Scheinberg in an Egyptian magazine

Last Shabbat I mentioned the article about me in Arabic in an Egyptian magazine. This happened a few years ago and I have never gotten the article translated. It occurred to me that I should post it here so that anyone who wants to translate it can do so. The magazine is called "The Voice of Arabism," or "Sot Al-Oroba," and the author is Yehia Gad-alla El-Tawil. I believe the article focuses on interreligious activities in Hudson County NJ.

Inauguration Day in Hoboken

Dear friends, I was honored today to speak twice at Hoboken’s inauguration festivities. First, this morning I spoke at the Interfaith Service at Our Lady of Grace Church, in honor of the new mayor and councilpeople. I was asked to share a text from Jewish tradition and to use it as a basis for identifying some of the leadership challenges for the new mayor and council. My remarks are below. Second, I was honored to deliver the benediction at the conclusion of the inauguration ceremony this afternoon. Those remarks are also below. (You may notice that some of the wording is adapted from the Prayer for Our Country that we recite every Shabbat during our services.) The day had many highlights for me. The inauguration ceremony featured a masterful speech by Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker, along with speeches by Governor Corzine, Senator Lautenberg, and a very gracious acceptance speech by Mayor Cammarano. I have to share, though, that the emotional highlight for me was when Councilman R