I remember my own summers at Reform Jewish summer camps better than almost anything else at that time of my life. URJ Kutz Camp and URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute shaped me, gave me a safe place, allowed me to explore my emotions and spirituality, taught me the true meaning of friendship, and helped me understand what respect for our world and the people in it (including self-respect) was all about. The rabbis and counselors took me seriously, believed in me, listened to me,...Read More
One day my son Jacob will ask how he was made, and I have the answer ready for this inevitable question: “God, science, and a whole lot of love.” Of course, there are many more details to his story…
My husband Zach and I found our place as teens on opposites sides of the country as leaders in NFTY, the Reform Jewish youth movement. Back then, our society did not excel at making room for the other. NFTY defied norms by defining itself as a place for all Jewish youth, an inclusive haven where everyone’s Godliness – b’tzelem Elohim (created in the image...Read More
My Facebook feed has been inundated in recent weeks with articles, videos, and angry rants addressing the obstacles to religious freedom in Israel. Friends across denominations are voicing strong opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s capitulation to the demands of an illiberal minority. From the Kotel crisis to the conversion bill to the blacklist of certain Diaspora rabbis, our blood pressure is rising. After long negotiations with the ruling coalition, its calculating and cowardly head decided to trade away our rights to save his hide.
Let’s examine for a moment,...Read More
As the global refugee crisis escalated, fear and misunderstanding of who refugees are inhibited refugee resettlement in the United States. These false perceptions of refugees mask the reality: Refugees want to start a new life in a place where they feel safe. Most of them want the same things out of life that we want: to be safe, healthy, and happy.
This summer, I have been interning with HIAS, the only Jewish organization solely focused on refugee resettlement and protection, in their community engagement department. HIAS has been around for over...Read More
What Jewish (or Jew-ish) news are you reading this week? Here’s a look at a few of the stories that are making us smile. Comment to share your own links!
- It may be the middle of summer, but winter is here, at least in the fictional world of Westeros. Game of Thrones returned on Sunday for its final season, and in celebration, JTA shared seven little-known Jewish facts about the show – including the fact that both of its creators are Members of the Tribe! ...