|The San Francisco Zen Center community is saddened to learn that
Rabbi Alan Lew, former resident practitioner who led many guest season
retreats at Tassajara (one was scheduled for the summer of 2009) that
bridged Judaism and Buddhism, unexpectedly died on Monday, January 12.
News reports say that Rabbi Lew, who was 65, passed away while out
jogging. He was leading a meditation retreat on the East Coast.
Alan Lew is remembered for his work as a social activist, advocating
for the homeless and poor, and leading protests at San Quentin against
the death penalty. He studied Zen for ten years before attending
seminary and ordaining as a Conservative Rabbi in the 1980s. For
fourteen years he served as rabbi of Congregation Beth Sholom and
founded, with former Zen Center Abbot Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Makor Or,
now a program of the San Francisco Jewish Community Center.
Abbot Paul Haller expressed his sadness at the loss of Rabbi Lew and
his appreciation for Alan's association with San Francisco Zen Center,
"His practice was a great benefit to Zen Hospice and Zen Center."
Rabbi Lew was the author of three books: One God Clapping: The
Spiritual Path of a Zen Rabbi (with Sherril Jaffe); This Is Real and You
Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of
Transformation; and Be Still and Get Going: A Jewish Meditation Practice
for Real Life.
This evening's service�Wednesday, January 14 at 6:20 pm�in the City
Center zendo will be dedicated to Rabbi Lew.
Information from the
The funeral service will be held on Thursday, January 15, at 12 noon
at Congregation Beth Sholom, located at 301-14th Avenue (near the corner
of Clement Street), San Francisco. For information, call Synagogue Beth
Sholom at 415.221.8736.
The Makor Or All Day Retreat on Sunday, January 18, will be a
celebration of Rabbi Lew's life, led by Norman Fischer.