Ferguson Protestor Amid Flares

A St. Louis Rabbi On the Ground in Ferguson

It has been almost two weeks of unrest since the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Since then, “clashes between the police and protesters have become a nightly ritual,” The New York Times reports. In response, many spiritual leaders around the country have taken note, standing in solidarity with protesters and descending upon the state to offer spiritual guidance and help quell the violence. Yet some have been on the scene from the beginning. One is Rabbi Susan Talve, who leads the progressive Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, just 20 minutes away from suburban Ferguson. Moment spoke with Talve, who has been campaigning for progressive causes including gun control and race issues for many years, and is working with the Jewish community to address the race and class tensions that have flared...

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Rabbi Susan Talve

Meet the Rabbi Who Just Married One of Missouri’s First Legal Gay Couples

Rabbi Susan Talve’s favorite word is chutzpah: shameless audacity. This surprises no one who knows her. The spiritual leader of St. Louis’ Central Reform Congregation has spent the last three decades defying norms. She founded an LGBTQ-welcoming synagogue during the 1980s AIDS crisis; made headlines by offering her synagogue for the ordination ceremony of two Catholic Womenpriests (a move that horrified both the Jewish and Christian communities); and has performed hundreds of illegal same-sex wedding ceremonies in the state with the country’s oldest constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Now, Talve has done something bolder. After both conservative Utah and nearby Indiana toppled their same-sex marriage bans last month, she helped officiate the first four legal same-sex weddings in Missouri. The four marriages, which took place in the offices of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, represent a direct challenge...

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