Blog

Reflections on the Significance of December 7 on American Jewry

Rabbi A. James Rudin
November 29, 2021
December 7 marks the 80th anniversary of the surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. The attack led to America's formal entry into World War II. What ensued would have a profound impact on Jews everywhere, including the American Jewish community.

For Some of Us the Holidays Are Just…Hard

Jaimie Green
November 18, 2021
As we head into the holiday season, I am acutely aware of how much different this year is going to be than previous ones. I will be celebrating without my mom for the first time. My mother died in January 2021, and I'm still dealing with the unexpected waves of grief that wash over me, sometimes out of nowhere. As I head into this first winter holiday season without her, I'm not quite sure I know what to expect, other than everything is going to be very different.

Reimagining Hanukkah Gift-Giving

Dasee Berkowitz
November 18, 2021
There are a lot of creative ways to make Hanukkah meaningful when we pause to ask ourselves a few good questions before automatically going into shopping mode.

Reflecting on Transgender Awareness Week in 2021

Hannah Bender
Eliana Rubin
Kelly Whitehead
Rachel Klein
November 16, 2021
Transgender Awareness Week is a chance to educate the public. It is important for people who are not part of the trans community to understand the oppression transgender and gender-expansive people face every day. While it is always important to affirm trans identities, Transgender Awareness Week provides an opportunity to center the voices of trans and gender-expansive people.

Holding Out an Olive Branch on the West Bank

Sheldon Schreter
November 11, 2021
The increasingly violent actions of certain young Jewish settlers in the West Bank against Palestinians - and against their olive trees, sheep herds, vehicles, homes, water supplies, and against their persons - have deeply troubled me, as just one awful symptom of our occupation. Last spring, in the ongoing, non-violent attempts to deter the frequent harassment by their Jewish settler neighbors, I went out twice to accompany Palestinian shepherds as they grazed their flocks.

A Jewish Approach to Transgender Awareness Week

Ariel Tovlev
November 9, 2021
After services one Friday night, I was approached by a woman and child I had not seen before. The woman knew I was a rabbinical student, and said she had an important question to ask me. Then, slowly, trying to find the right words, she said, “Let’s say there was someone who was born female but realized they were male—a female to male transgender person. Would that person be able to have a bar mitzvah? Is that something Judaism would allow?”

An Israeli Reform Congregation Joins its Ethiopian Jewish Neighbors in Celebrating the Holiday of Sigd

The Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism (IMPJ)
November 3, 2021
For many generations, the Beta Israel had longed to reach Jerusalem in a quest to renew their covenant with God and for spiritual redemption. So strong was their desire that they created a holiday as a time to pray for this miracle. They called it Sigd (meaning "worship") and celebrated it on the 50th day after Yom Kippur. This year it is celebrated today, November 4.