Gonzo Judaism: A Bold Path for Renewing an Ancient Faith, A Conversation with Rabbi Niles Goldstein
“Gonzo Judaism” is both a clarion call for a new Jewish agenda and a blueprint for an adventurous but genuine path toward spiritual growth and religious wisdom. Rabbi Niles Goldstein, founder of The New Shul in New York City and now the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom in Napa Valley, says that most conventional Jewish institutions are out-of-touch and have relied too much on nostalgia, guilt and fear, none of which resonate with modern Jews. He challenges Jews to adopt the "gonzo" spirit—the rebellious, risk-taking attitude associated with journalist Hunter S. Thompson—and to take creative, innovative steps to reshape and revitalize contemporary Judaism. Goldstein urges readers to take a fresh look at Judaism, learn its history and tradition, discover what is authentic yet feels spiritually relevant and meaningful, and create a Jewish culture and community rooted in affirmation, joy and celebration. Rabbi Goldstein is the award-winning author or editor of ten books and a founder of the Napa Center for Thought & Culture. Prior to his arrival in Napa, he worked in a variety of congregational, interfaith and academic settings in Chicago. Goldstein teaches widely on spirituality, personal growth, the environment, leadership and congregational innovation. He has written for Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, the Forward and other publications, and been featured in Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and other venues, and on radio and television. Goldstein is the National Jewish Chaplain for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and a member of PEN, the Renaissance Institute and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. He has served on the faculty of New York University, Loyola University, Eastern Mennonite University and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. All attendees will receive a copy of “Gonzo Judaism.”
New Law for Employers
The full text of the FFCRA can be found here.
The FFCRA is a new federal law that requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two new paid leave benefits for eligible employees affected by the COVID-19 virus in 2020. This applies only to those employees (not already laid off) who are home sick. The leave requirements generally provide paid sick time or paid leave under certain circumstances (as described more fully in the notice poster, link #4, below). The FFCRA also provides tax credits that may help employers provide the paid leave benefits.
The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave, taken for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep workers (who are home sick with COVID-19 related illness and therefore unable to work, even remotely) on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. The Departmnt's Wage and Hour Division administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.
If an employer has fewer than 50 employees and providing the paid leave benefits would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern, the small business exemption may apply. Employers who believe they qualify for the exemption should document why the business meets the exemption criteria unless and until the Department of Labor issues additional guidance on claiming the exemption.
Effective April 1, 2020, employers are required to properly notify their employees of the new FFCRA leave benefits and implement the requirements.
Below are links to important resources that contain compliant employee notices, guidance, and recommendations for employers subject to the FFCRA.
- Department of Labor: COVID-19 and the American Workplace
- Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employee Paid Leave Rights (in English)
- Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employer Paid Leave Requirements (in English)
- Compliant FFCRA notice poster for private-sector employees (in English)
- Department of Labor FAQ for the FFCRA employee notice poster
courtesy of Montgomery & Hansen, LLP