Seekers of Meaning 4/21/2023: Rabbi Charles Kroloff and his new book, “Open Up Our Eyes: Moments That Shape Our Lives”

On this week’s episode of the Seekers of Meaning TV Show and Podcast, Rabbi Charles Kroloff, rabbi emeritus of Temple Emanu-El, Westfield, New Jersey, discusses his new book, Open Up Our Eyes: Moments That Shape Our Lives, about amazing moments in his personal and professional life.

The author, a renowned rabbi, counselor, and force for social justice, has had some amazing experiences dancing at the White House, ministering to congregants, on buses and trains in the Jim Crow South, in the swimming pool at Yale University, officiating at weddings and funerals, cheering for the NY Mets, and supporting the homeless. He has also experienced in unique ways the blessings of being a husband, father, grandfather, and son.

As he recalls amazing moments in his personal and professional life, he invites the reader to do the same. His spiritual insights will inspire you to think deeply about the joys and sorrows in your own life. He shows you how, by reflecting on the special and not-so-special moments of your past, you can find purpose in your life and make your days happier and more fulfilling.

The author has been deeply influenced by the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Martin Buber. From them he has learned that every day is precious and that there are amazing blessings all around us if we will only open our eyes to them.

Rabbi Kroloff grapples with the despair that many feel over the current state of affairs in our world. He offers suggestions for how each us, no matter where we are in life or on the political spectrum, can make a difference. Although Judaism is his spiritual anchor, the author draws deeply on other traditions, secular and religious. Ultimately, he affirms his faith in the future of our nation and humankind. But he is not a naive, ivory tower optimist. He reminds us that our future depends on good people not remaining silent, but becoming a force for good in whatever small and large ways we can.

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About the Guest

Rabbi Charles Kroloff

Rabbi Charles Kroloff was spiritual leader of Temple Emanu-El, Westfield, New Jersey, one of the region’s largest synagogues, for 36 years. He is past president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis which represents thousands of Reform rabbis worldwide. A magna cum laude graduate of Yale University, he was ordained at Hebrew Union College where he taught rabbinic students for three decades and where he continues to mentor future rabbis. An experienced marital and family therapist, he is the author of When Elijah Knocks: A Religious Response to Homelessness; 54 Ways You Can Help the Homeless; and, most recently, Open Up Our Eyes: Moments That Shape Our Lives.

Rabbi Kroloff is a passionate, fan of the NY Mets, fine art museums, and lap swimming. He and his wife, Dr. Terry Kroloff, the parents of three children, love to celebrate life with their seven grandchildren.  

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