Rabbi Michael Rothbaum is spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton, Mass. He serves on the advisory boards of the Jewish Alliance of Law and Social Action (JALSA) and the New England Jewish Labor Committee, and is a member of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. He lives in Acton with his husband, Yiddish singer Anthony Russell.


Posts By This Author

Dear Public Officials: We Don’t Need Calm, We Need Mourning

by Michael Rothbaum 04-23-2021

A local resident walks along the “Say Their Names” cemetery on the day former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., on April 20, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

By now the ritual is regrettably predictable.  A public official approaches a podium emblazoned with an official seal, perhaps flanked by the flags of their city and state, and maybe the U.S. flag. Just outside the frame, the shutters of a dozen cameras snap, capturing the official’s somber expression and ever-so-gently bowed head.

The Blood We Are Seeing in the Street Was Always There

by Michael Rothbaum 06-04-2020

Terrence Floyd visits the site near where his brother George was taken in Minneapolis police custody and later killed, in Minneapolis, Minn. June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Miller/File Photo

In Exodus, the Egyptians shed innocent blood. Then God made this blood visible for all to see. 

Passover During a Pandemic: The Art of Surviving and Thriving

by Michael Rothbaum 04-01-2020

We have survived catastrophe in the past. And not just survived – ultimately, we thrived.