C-H-U-C-K Chuck

He always used to seemingly dislike when people would add “C-H-U-C-K Chuck” into “Justice, Justice“.

Yesterday, word came out that Charles Feldman, long-time Director of Music (in the days before Reform had Cantors) at Wilshire Blvd Temple, and long-time camp director of Gindling Hilltop Camp, and long time maestro of Jewish music, passed away. It wasn’t a surprise; I had heard he was in a board-and-care home up in the Antelope Valley. But still, the news was sad. And the world wept.

I attended the Wilshire Blvd Temple Camps for 10 years, between 1969 and 1979; I was at Hilltop starting in 1972. For all but that first (and possibly second) year at Hilltop, Chuck was my camp director. So many memories: his voice, his kindness, his friendly nature, his leadership, playing anagrams after-hours.

Others from my era at camp have posted on Facebook with their memories. If the measure of a person and a life well lived are the lives that you have impacted for the good, then Chuck will be remembered well. Tradition teaches that we live on in the memories of others. In that respect, Chuck will continue to live on through the music he has left behind, through the people he has influence and how they have passed on that influence down the generations, and through the memories of the man at his piano, leading songs and completely happy.

You can hear his beautiful voice on the camp album Cherish The Torah, in the songs “Sim Shalom” and “Sanctification“. Here is a short summary of Chuck’s career at Wilshire from the time he stepped down.

According to a post from Liz Biderman Gertz on Facebook, those who wish to honor Chuck Feldman’s memory may donate to the following scholarship fund:

Academy of Music Performance and Education scholarship fund
854 West Lancaster Blvd
Lancaster CA 93534



🗯️ Anger Makes My Head Explode

userpic=divided-nationYesterday, a Conservative friend of mine began a political post (wherein he shared a link from Fox News) as follows: “Whereupon liberal heads explode…”. This is a style of rhetoric I’ve seen from the right before: Doing things just to “make Liberal heads explode”. There’s so much anger and hatred expressed towards a broad group. It is as if they were _______-ist. But what gets me most is this attitude of hate towards groups.

Further, if you think I’m letting my side off the hook, you’re wrong. I get equally annoyed when I see on the Liberal forums that a read: “Oh, that will piss them off” or other things that express hatred towards all Trump supporters or all Conservatives. Of course, these are Liberals, so we know there’s no hate or _______-ism in them. Right? But for Conservatives? [In fact, there’s a cartoon going around Facebook making just that point — of how Liberals are accepting of anyone … except Conservatives].

Hate. Hate. Hate.

I just hate hate.

Seriously: If we are to move this country forward, we’ve got to get past this hatred of groups of people. Yes, people can choose their politics, unlike their skin color, sex, gender, orientation, or other protected classes. But that’s not a reason to hate people as an entire group. Hate and protest ideas and political positions. Dislike individuals. But don’t do things just because you don’t like broad groups, or just to piss off broad groups.

Doing things to piss of groups of people — doing things to make others angry — that’s just being a bully. You are better than that.

Just stop it. In Jewish tradition, tomorrow is the day of repentance — a day to commit to make changes in your behavior. Take advantage of it, and vow to stop this senseless hatred of groups, and doing things just because it will piss someone else off. You’re better than being one of the “Get off my lawn” nasty old men.

G’mar Chatima Tovah.