Rabbi Tirzah Firestone is an author, a psychotherapist and the founding rabbi of Congregation Nevei Kodesh, the Jewish Renewal Community of Boulder, Colorado.
Founding Rabbi of Nevei Kodesh
Nevei Kodesh, which means Oasis of Holiness, has been called by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi “the flagship community” among Jewish Renewal congregations in the United States. Now a flourishing and vibrant community of approximately 300 members, Nevei Kodesh serves all ages and diverse backgrounds. Affiliated with Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, (www.aleph.org) Nevei Kodesh is dedicated to breathing new life into the ancient Jewish tradition, by means of
- in-depth Torah study with an emphasis on Hassidic and Kabbalistic wisdom,
- ecstatic music,
- contemplative prayer and meditation.
Nevei Kodesh is also unique for being
- Inclusive of all ages, sexual orientations, and religious backgrounds
- warm and supportive havurot and larger community,
- the founders and pillars of the Boulder Jewish Chevreh Kaddishah,
- social action in the areas of local poverty and modern day slavery, and for bringing forth the dynamic power of the ancient Jewish tradition in ways that are relevant and meaningful to the world crises of our time.
Member of the Yesod Foundation
As a member of the board of the Yesod Foundation, Tirzah has been instrumental in supporting the vision and work of her Rebbe, Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi. Perhaps Yesod’s most important project has been the archiving of Reb Zalman’s prolific life works, gathered from around the world in the form of the Reb Zalman Legacy Project (www.rzlp.org) Colorado University at Boulder has recently (January, 2011) acquired these unique archives and will be maintaining, updating and making them available for public use.
Rabbis for Human Rights
Rabbis for Human Rights is the rabbinic voice of conscience in Israel.
Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) was established twenty years ago with the purpose of giving voice to the Jewish religious tradition of human rights. Since its inception in 1988, RHR has championed the cause of the poor in Israel, supported the rights of Israel’s minorities and Palestinians, worked to stop the abuse of foreign workers, endeavored to guarantee the upkeep of Israel’s public health care system, promoted the equal status of women, helped Ethiopian Jews, battled trafficking in women, and more.
The organization seeks to prevent human rights violations in Israel and in areas for which Israel has taken responsibility, and to bring specific human rights grievances to the attention of the Israeli public while pressuring the appropriate authorities for their redress.
Moreover, RHR endeavors to introduce into Israel’s public discourse an authentic and humanistic understanding of the Jewish tradition and sources. We give voice to the Jewish tradition’s concern for the stranger and others vulnerable within society, and are bound by a Jewish responsibility to defy silent complicity. While the increasingly dominant nationalistic and particularistic understanding of Judaism echoes loudly in Israeli society today, RHR reflects a Zionist commitment to the values of justice and equality, as expressed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence.
Rabbis for Human Rights – Israel branch
Rabbis for Human Rights – North American branch
Tirzah is on the board of Rabbis for Human Rights of North America and has served as the Co-Chair from 2009-2010