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Michelle Shapiro Abraham

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Closeup of an adult and a child holding hands

The day after the acts of terror and hate in Charlottesville, my friend and colleague Sara posted the following on Facebook:

My son asked me when he went to camp to write to him via camp email about current events. I don't know what to do. What would you do? I can't support him when he reads what I write, and I don't think that his age group at camp will discuss this.

What followed was a heartbreaking discussion that revealed our shared struggle: How do we help our children understand this world? How do we both protect them and make sure that they are knowledgeable enough...

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Hand holding a sign in the air that reads DO JUSTICE LOVE MERCY WALK PROUDLY

In the early 1980s, I was a camper in the UAHC Camp Swig Hevrah unit. In addition to the usual fun camp activities, this particular unit at camp focused on social justice. Our theme that summer was Soviet Jewry, and during our three weeks, we learned the ins and outs of the issues, heard stories about Soviet Jews, and explored what we could do to make a difference. During the last few days of the session, we traveled to San Francisco to march in solidarity with Soviet Jews, equipped with “Save Soviet Jewry” banners and T-shirts, ready to perform, sing, and make our voices heard.

I...

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Bendy childrens toys in primary colors with cartoony smiling faces

We have been talking a lot about “happiness” in Jewish education lately. Let’s begin by owning that the term “happiness” is challenging. In our vernacular it has a shallow and trivial connotation. As Toni Morrison, speaking to college graduates, said: “I urge you, please don’t settle for happiness. It’s not good enough.”

When we talk about “happiness” as a new thrust for Jewish education, as suggested by Dr. David Bryfman and Dr. Scott Aaron, what are we actually talking about? The scientific field of Positive Psychology uses the term “authentic happiness” or “flourishing” for the...

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In the early 1980s, I was a camper in the UAHC (now URJ) Camp Swig Hevrah unit. In addition to the usual fun camp activities, this particular unit at camp focused on social justice. Our theme that summer was Soviet Jewry, and during our three weeks we learned the ins and outs of the issues, heard stories about Soviet Jews, and explored what we could do to make a difference. During the last few days of the session, we traveled to San Francisco to march in solidarity with Soviet Jews, equipped with “Save Soviet Jewry” banners and t-shirts, ready to perform, sing, and make our voices heard....

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Are your teens getting ready to lead the Purim Carnival at your synagogue? We know that it takes more than just fun and games to make the program a success. Here is some wisdom from the Disney Institute to share with your teens and elevate your carnival with a bit of audacious hospitality!

Disney is known throughout the world for creating a warm, welcoming and fun environment. Their easy ideas for customer service are a great way to show audacious hospitality and create magical Purim memories for all! (No pixie dust required.)

Look in the mirror before going on stage.

At...

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