Rabbi Rachel Timoner to speak on spirituality and justice

April 14, 2014

Rachel Timoner

Rabbi Rachel Timoner will present "Listening for the Spirit of God in Our Pursuit of Justice: Spirituality and Justice in the Jewish Tradition" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 28, in Quad 170 (Founders Room) at Saint John's University.

The lecture, sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, is free and open to the public.

The lecture will address the relationship between spirituality and justice in the Jewish tradition. Timoner said her lecture will "explore the meaning of God as spirit, ways of discerning God's spirit in and around us, spiritual practices that help us nurture the gifts of God's spirit in our lives and how all of this relates to the covenantal call for creating a better world.

"Judaism is an action-focused tradition," Timoner said. "From the commandments given at Sinai and the shouts of Israel's ancient prophets to the teachings of contemporary women and men of prophetic vision and witness, Judaism calls upon people to end poverty, oppression and all forms of injustice."

Timoner is the associate rabbi at Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, where her focus is on social justice, spiritual life and lifelong learning. She serves as a leader in Reform CA, a statewide movement of rabbis and Jewish lay leaders working for social justice in California.

After earning a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University, Timoner worked for 13 years with social justice organizations. She was named an "Unsung Hero" by the San Francisco Examiner newspaper and KQED (PBS) for her work to break the isolation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth. She also received the Do Something National BRICK Award for Community Leadership.

Timoner was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. She received numerous honors from the institute, including honors for excellence in biblical studies and for scholarly writing.

She is the author of Breath of Life: God as Spirit in Judaism (Paraclete Press, 2011). John Merkle, director of the Jay Phillips Center, called the book "a beautifully written and enlightening book, filled with wisdom from one tradition that can enrich the religious understanding of people in various traditions."