Cantor Lauren Phillips
When our son was born, we put a modern spin on the rare tradition of pidyon haben, using the ceremony as one way to welcome him to the Jewish community.
Fans of “Seinfeld” may recall an exchange between Jerry and Elaine in which they discuss the appropriate timeline for delivering new year greetings. “I once got Happy New Year'd in March … it’s pathetic,” griped Jerry.
The Jewish calendar has a natural marker for when it’s appropriate to start wishing friends and loved ones a happy New Year. The Jewish month that precedes the Jewish New Year is called Elul, and the first day of Elul, Rosh Chodesh Elul, is the official beginning of the High Holiday season.
Twenty-first century synagogues and organizations seeking to engage the next generation of Jewish leaders can learn a lot from the early Zionists. The promotional materials that the Jewish National Fund (JNF) once created to encourage thousands of Jews in