When I rolled into the gym this morning, I was hoping to get on my favorite recumbent bike. It allows me to do a good lower body work out without using my arms or putting any stress on my right shoulder, which is recovering from rotator cuff surgery.
No such luck.
Both of “my” bikes were taken.
The gym’s rules are prominently posted throughout: “30-minute limit on all machines when others are waiting.”
A young woman was toweling herself off on one of the bikes, so I asked her if she was finishing or just starting.
“Just starting,” she answered...Read More
If you had asked me when I graduated from college in 2009 whether there was a need for predominantly LGBTQ+ synagogues, I probably would have said “not really, not anymore.”
If you had asked me again, before I started my rabbinical studies in 2013, I probably would have doubled down on that sentiment. I likely would have responded with an argument like this:
“Historically, LGBTQ+ Jews founded their own synagogues because mainstream synagogue life was not welcoming and accepting of LGBTQ+ folks. But we’ve come a long way, and given the progress we’ve made, especially in the...Read More
It’s a conversation I had had hundreds of times in my 44 years as a Jewish educator. However, this time was different: It was with my son.
“So, if Jill and I get married and neither of us converts, what is the best way to raise children?”
I was prepared because he and Jill had been dating for several years. Even though she never went to church when visiting us from Ann Arbor, where they were in school together, I knew her parents were very involved in their church.
My response went something like this:
“As your Mom, I would love to have Jewish grandchildren...Read More
On a recent Wednesday, the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) first-year students gathered together for Israel Seminar. One day every week we focus on a different aspect of life here, viewing the country through historical, political, and sociological lenses. That week, we focused on Haredim, traditionally observant Jews often referred to as ultra-Orthodox in the U.S.
Although many people view this group as a monolith, there is a huge variety within and among the Haredi community. Some neighborhoods are plastered with signs decrying...Read More
I recently had the honor of seeing Family in Transition, a documentary by Ofir Trainin that centered on a family living in Nahariya, Israel, called the Tsuks. In this town of just 56,000 people, the Tsuks stand out as the only family with a parent who is transgender (Amit).
The film chronicles the challenges that Amit, her former wife Galit, and their children endured during Amit’s gender transition, while showcasing the beautiful diversity within the Jewish world. I had the chance to sit with Amit and others involved...Read More