RABBI DEBRA KOLODNY

AS THE SPIRIT MOVES US

Writings

Rabbi Debra Kolodny, Dancing for Both Countries – Finding Fertile Ground Podcast: Stories of Grit, Resilience, and Connection

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Rabbi Debra Kolodny, Dancing for Both Countries – Finding Fertile Ground Podcast: Stories of Grit, Resilience, and Connection

Born in Far Rockaway in New York City, Rabbi Debra (D’vorah) Kolodny (they/them) is a veteran of social justice movements, bringing a spiritual perspective and an activist’s passion to racial and economic justice, women’s, environmental, peace, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) causes since 1981. Rabbi Debra serves as the spiritual leader of Portland’s UnShul here in Oregon, and as the Executive Director of Portland United Against Hate (PUAH), a coalition of more than 80 community organizations,...

Shoftim 2020/5780

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Shoftim 2020/5780

This week’s Torah portion, Shoftim includes the famous words tzedek tzedek tirdof-which is typically translated as “justice, justice shall you pursue.” Looking first at what we call the Pshat- the plain reading of the text: what does it mean to pursue justice? In this very same parsha we read that it means No bribes and no favoritism (16:19) That you must have 2 or 3 witnesses to confirm something happened (17:6) What if we go deeper and look beyond the plain meaning and find an interpretation of this text that illuminates this a bit more...

PUAH City Council Testimony – STOP COP RIOTS

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PUAH City Council Testimony – STOP COP RIOTS

Mayor and Commissioners, My name is Rabbi Debra Kolodny. I am today here as Executive Director of Portland United Against Hate, co-author of the Stop Cop Riots letter and as clergy. In our final letter demanding an end to police violence during demonstrations, the community submitted 66 organizational signers and 92 clergy signers as well as another 1300 individuals. I broke down these numbers because I want to make clear that while a few clergy share the good protestor/bad protestor narrative and are standing with police, the vast majority...

Portland United Against Hate Testimony Against Police Violence

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Portland United Against Hate Testimony Against Police Violence

September 3, 2020 Co-Chairs and Members of the Committee: My name is Rabbi Debra Kolodny. I live in Multnomah County and am the Executive Director of Portland United Against Hate and the Rabbi of Portland’s UnShul. Having spoken with over 100 people and read through dozens of first hand reports on extraordinary police violence against almost exclusively peaceful protestors, and having pastored to over a dozen people who have received horrific injuries, I want to thank you for your work on LC 17 through 20. That being said, I believe that...