Rabbi Rachel Timoner to Speak April 29 at St. Thomas About Spirituality and Justice

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. Tuesday, April 29, in Room 100 of McNeely Hall on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

Rabbi Rachel Timoner

Rabbi Rachel Timoner

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning, a joint enterprise of St. Thomas and St. John’s University, Collegeville.

”Judaism is an action-focused tradition,” said Timoner.  “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.”

Addressing 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.”

Timoner is 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 lay leaders working for social justice in California.

After earning a B.A. degree from Yale University, Timoner worked for 13 years with social justice organizations. She was named by the San Francisco Examiner and KQED (PBS) as an “Unsung Hero” for working to break the isolation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered youth, and she received the Do Something National BRICK Award for Community Leadership.

Timoner was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, where she received numerous honors, including 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), which Jay Phillips Center director John Merkle called “a beautifully written and enlightening book, filled with wisdom from one tradition that can enrich the religious understanding of people in various traditions.”