Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sheila Sonnenschein on Judaism

Sheila Sonnenschein recently joined me on the podcast to talk about Judaism. Sheila is a speaker, writer and leader in the Jewish and interfaith communities in Kansas City. She and her husband are the founders of the Mitzvah Garden which produces food for the needy, and started the Table to Table program for the Kosher food pantry, Yachad. Sheila is active in Salaam/Shalom, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the Crescent Peace Society, from whom she received the Peace Award. Her work in racial justice has earned her the Heart of Gold for Racial Justice award through the YWCA, and she continues to build bridges – to people of other faiths and to the poor and marginalized, including refugees. Sheila’s family graciously hosted me this year for the most sacred meal of the Jewish faith, the Passover Seder, an experience I’ll forever treasure.

In this episode:
0:00 The Jewish faith and immigrants
2:37 Introduction for Sheila Sonnenschein
3:39 Sheila’s faith growing up
5:35 Judaism & community
6:33 Beliefs about life after death
7:29 How Judaism makes the world better & Tikkun Olam
8:48 Feeling God’s presence – tragedy, nature, synchronicity
11:37 Israel’s meaning for Jewish people
13:20 Antisemitism, solidarity & Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom (contact theory)
16:09 History of persecution & how it’s shaped the Jewish people
21:09 The Passover Seder
25:13 Reformed, Conservative and Orthodox traditions in Judaism
27:33 The Jewish holy books & how Sheila approaches scripture
30:50 Conversations between generations (patriarchs AND matriarchs)

31:34 Sheila recites the Sh’ma