Is it time for the Jews to leave Europe?

A very dear friend sent me this link this morning. The contents of the article are of great interest to me and I think may be of interest to you. I welcome your comments and thoughts.


I am reminded of when I was in Paris in a taxi on the way to the airport.  The women driver informed me “that the only problems in France are because of the Jews.”   Suffice it to say, I was shocked and couldn’t wait to get to the airport and on the plane.   My favorite dialogue in the movie Ship of Fools is when the two passengers are chatting – one a German and the other a German Jew.  The German says that “the only problem in Germany is the Jews.”  The German Jew says, “yes, the Jews and the bicycle riders.”   The German says, “why the bicycle riders?”  The German Jew responds, “why the Jews?” Shabbat shalom


I am back…

I have not posted in a long time. Guess I needed to take a vacation from my usual posting of a “Thought for the day…” Well, I have come to the conclusion that there is more for me to say. I want to reach out to my many friends and be in contact on a regular basis.  This weekend should be very inspiring.  I am officiating at a Bat Mitzvah of a wonderful young lady, officiating at a wedding for a beautiful young couple and performing a baby naming on Sunday.  I also was invited to teach the Life Cycle class for the Academy of Jewish Religion beginning this fall in Los Angeles.  I am very excited to be teaching again because the students are a source of inspiration for me.  Please let me know if I may be of service to you.  Shabbat Shalom.


Thought for the day…

Today is the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.  Having visited Israel last September, I never cease to be amazed by the vitality and energy of the people and the progress one sees all around.  Let us celebrate the miracle and let us live to see peace and tranquility in Israel and the Middle East.  Just imagine what the country could achieve if it was focused on development and progress instead of security and war.


Rykestrasse Synagogue, Berlin, Germany – June 28, 2012

Rykestrasse Synagogue Berlin, L’dor VaDor, Cantor Joseph Gole and congregation, Cantors Assembly – YouTube


As 5772 fades and we enter 5773 –

May the New Year bring you and yours only blessings, good health, success,
happiness, peace, wisdom, and love.
May sunlight break through all clouds to brighten each day.
May new melodies enrich our souls and expand our horizons.
May all our hopes and dreams come true.
May laughter fill our homes.
May the memory of those no longer with us warm our hearts.
And may all be safe.

שנה טובה ומתוקה

Shana Tova Umetuka (Sweet New Year!)

written by: Menachem Rosensaft


A New Year Greeting to My Family and Friends

It oftentimes seems as if we forget to live in the moment since the moment is all there really is in life. I have no way of knowing what could happen to my loved ones, friends, family or me in the next moment – let alone the next year. In the moment, I look out my window at the magnificent sky, the trees, grass and the beauty that is all around. I am going to try this coming year to live more in the moment and recognize the miracles all around me in the present. I am going to treasure each moment as if it were my last and try to do one positive and meaningful action for those around me and for myself. We read tomorrow in the poetry and liturgy of our Rosh Hashanah Service about what could occur this coming year – famine, flood, earthquake, fire, auto accident, cancer, and a host of other unpredictable events. Allow me to dedicate my awareness to that which is around me and to do what I can to make this world a little better place by my actions, deeds and thoughts in the present and in the moment so as to give meaning to every second of my life. I want to thank all of you for your love and support. May our year be filled with blessings. Shana Tova U’metukah, JG


Thought for the day….

Friday, I returned from the Cantors Assembly Mission to Germany and Israel. I had the opportunity of singing in Berlin at the Rykesstrase Synagogue and in Munich at Hercules Hall. I also joined with my colleagues in leading a Friday night Shabbat service at the southern steps of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, Israel. The trip was full of emotion, education, thoughts and memorable experiences that will take time to process and digest. Everyone on our trip had an experience that they will talk about for the rest of their lives. The unanswerable question that lingers for me is how could the atrocities committed by a civilized and cultured people occur during the dark and horrible years of 1933 to 1945. The other question that haunts me is why does anti-semitism still exist today disguised by labels such as “zionism is racism’? I know scholars have attempted to find an answer and an explanation. However, I shall never understand how a people that has contributed so much to the world in the sciences, art, music, literature, economics and academia is so despised and hated. Meanwhile, the miracle, energy and vitality of Israel is something we should all treasure and cherish. We must be ever vigilant to safeguard the State of Israel from baseless and distorted anti-semitic attacks by those who would twist and manipulate the truth. Thank God for the blessing of the State of Israel. And thank God, we live at a time in which the State of Israel exists for the Jewish people. JG


Thought for the day….

We need to start our day by pausing and reflecting on the infinite blessings that abound in our lives. Our world is filled with miracles and beauty. We need to stop for a moment from our hectic and frantic lives and reflect on the many gifts that are all around us. We need to breathe and observe for a moment the miracle of life itself and the wonder of our world and universe. May we experience and appreciate every moment and may we learn to give thanks and express gratitude to those around us that give meaning and love to our existence. JG


Personal Invitation…..

I want to personally extend an invitation to you. Please join me this coming Shabbat morning, May 12th, at Kehillat Maarav. I will be leading the service with Rabbi Michael Gotlieb, a very dear friend. The service begins at 9:30 and ends at 12:00. I will be singing from the beginning and throughout the service. The service is very participatory and unaccompanied. I know you will enjoy the intimacy and informality combined with the unique sense of community the service offers. The sanctuary is small and the feeling is intimate and warm. I am very excited about my participation in this service.

It would be great if you could join me. Your friendship and support mean a lot and your attendance would be really inspiring. I have provided the synagogues web page address for your convenience:


The address is 1715 21st Street, Santa Monica. It is right off of Olympic Boulevard.

See you on Shabbat morning. Warmest regards, Joe


Thought for the day…

I am in the process of picking the music for our opening concert in Germany. As you may know, together with my colleagues of the Cantors Assembly, we are traveling to Germany and Israel. Our mission, which will be joined by lay people from congregations all over the world, is part of the Cantors Assembly goal of spreading understanding, peace and love through the universality of our liturgical music. Our goal is to link the past to the present by acknowledging and learning about the history of our people and understanding the important contributions they made to the culture and society of where they lived. I picked several selections of Louis Lewandowski (1821 – 1894), who composed for the Rykesstrase Synagogue in Berlin, the site of our opening program and concert. Louis Lewandowski’s music is used throughout the world and many of his melodies are part of almost every service. One of my congregants attended services at the Rykesstrase Synagogue when she was a little girl. Imagine being in a synagogue where the music we are singing was first presented and heard 150 years ago. I want to extend to you my personal invitation to join with me on a historic and unforgettable trip to Germany and Israel. I promise you it will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. JG

Join me on the Cantors Assembly Mission to Germany and Israel. Please click below for details:

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