Rabbis in Social Action

Read Rabbi Latz's article in the Huffington Post about courageous vision and Shabbat Hazon in beloved memory of member Caryl Barnett.

Letter from Rabbis regarding same-sex marriage:

Dear Shir Tikvah:

It was an absolute joy - a perfect Shehecheyanu moment - when Governor Mark Dayton signed Minnesota’s marriage equality law on Tuesday evening! For every couple that has waited for civil marriage and for all congregants who have advanced our great state towards equality, this was a sweet moment indeed.

Today, we remember beloved congregant Senator Allan Spear (z”l), Minnesota’s first openly gay legislator, who championed the cause of human rights. We are deeply proud of congregants Senate President Sandy Pappas and Representative Phyllis Kahn, along with Ann Kaner-Roth, who demonstrated outstanding leadership. And we are blessed that countless Shir Tikvah members raised their voices together to bring us to this momentous day.

As you know, in December of 2010, following years of reflection and discernment, Rabbi Simon and I shared with you that we would not sign civil wedding licenses until same-sex couples were offered equal rights under Minnesota law. We felt strongly about not being agents of the state’s discriminatory policy and joined with you and other faith communities to affirm Shir Tikvah’s founding values of human dignity and equality.

With the establishment of marriage equality in Minnesota, we are overjoyed to close this chapter and open the next. We will now sign civil marriage licenses for all couples forwhom we officiate.

For all of our 25 years, Shir Tikvah has led the way toward justice. It has been a privilege and an honor to work with our holy congregation in creating a Minnesota where all loving couples have equal marriage rights. 


Rabbis Michael Adam Latz & Melissa B. Simon

See what Shir Tikvah's Senior Rabbi and Director of Lifelong Learning have been doing in the community.
Rabbi Michael Adam Latz
In February 2013, Rabbi Michael Adam Latz delivered remarks at the Gun Violence Prevention Rally before a group of supporters, including our congregants, at the State Capitol. In January 2013, Rabbi Latz and Shir Tikvah congregants also participated in a community-wide conversation about the fight against foreclosures.

In December 2012, Rabbi Latz was interviewed by local publication, MinnPost, in which he spoke out about how the marriage amendment
affected him personally. In April 2012, Rabbi Latz delivered an opening prayer before the Minnesota State Senate and in March 2012, Rabbi Latz addressed the Minnesota State House of Representatives with an Opening Invocation.
Rabbi Melissa B. Simon: Director of Lifelong Learning
Rabbi Simon spoke at the February 14, 2013 Freedom to Marry Day Rally which launched the Minnesotans United Marriage Equality campaign.  Her remarks can be found here. 
In January 2012, Rabbi Simon was a clergy trainer at a  gathering on behalf of the Clergy United for All Families.
The Clergy United for All Families gathering, which brought together clergy from all faiths, also included a press conference covered on Minnesota Public Radio.

Both Rabbi Michael Adam Latz and Melissa B. Simon have spoken out against the marriage amendment - including participating in the YouTube video God Votes No: Voices from the Religious Left for Marriage Equality - and they have been selected as Human Rights Rabbis of the Year for their work by Rabbis for Human Rights. The Twin Cities Daily Planet also published an article honoring both Rabbi Latz and Rabbi Simon, as well as other members of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association, for their commitment to opposing the act.

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