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Black and white image of a group of smiling children beneath a small tent in a desert setting

What was it like to grow up in a communal children’s house on an Israeli kibbutz? Rachel Biale was born in 1952 and raised on Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin, overlooking the Jordan River. She is the author of the new memoir Growing Up Below Sea Level: A Kibbutz Childhood.

Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Each Father's Day, I reflect on my father, now deceased, and my relationship with him, and his relationship with me.

Stuart L. Leviton
top of a red alarm clock against a blue background

And at this moment, in the midst of the pandemic, we are witnessing a time of reckoning for the racial divide that has torn our society apart for so long. What does it mean to bring a baby into a world in desperate need of r’fuah sh’leimah, the full healing of body, heart, and soul?

Margie Bogdanow
Three children using a flashlight to read a book inside a dark pillow fort

My boys are making forts using all the pillows in the house. They strong-armed my husband into setting up our camping tent outside, and they sit there as the day grows hot.

Monica Steiner
Red paper heart against an orange background with a white line through it like an echo cardiogram

When I turned 30 a few months ago, I had no idea that COVID-19 and cancer would disrupt my life so violently, but I have discovered an opportunity to reorient my life toward the intangible sparks that make life worth living: love, kindness, amazement, and gratitude.

Rabbi Alex Kress
The author poses for a smiling photo with his elderly mother
Photo credit: Rose Eichenbaum

This is the third year in row that I’ve interviewed my mother, Adela, a Holocaust survivor, for Mother’s Day. In our 2018 and 2019 interviews, she revealed memories that she’d previously kept to herself, like the last time she saw her own mother. 

Aron Hirt-Manheimer
Close up of a book with a turned page formed into the shape of a heart

For Mother’s Day this year, I’m revisiting memoirs that have provided comfort through their relatability over the years. My life isn’t exactly like those of my beloved memoir writers, but so many details and stories ring true, almost bringing me back to being in close proximity to my mom.

Babette Dunkelgrün (JTA)
Smiling family taking a selfie together with Israeli flag pennants in the background

As a family mediator and the parent of four children, I have found comfort and logic in the kibbutz response to this crisis – a laser focus on the responsibility to its members.

Talia Engelhart
Closeup of a woman consoling a teenager

This resource can guide you and your family in ongoing discussions with children during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers specific language you can use when responding to children about the heartbreaking news that they will not be able to attend camp this summer as planned.

The URJ Briut Team
Close up of hands holding a loaf of challah against a striped shirt

As challenging as these days of quarantine have been, I take comfort in the many ways this strange time of separation have enabled us – however ironically – to come together. Here are a few of the “blessings of separation” I’ve experienced in the age of COVID-19.

Cantor Lauren Phillips Fogelman

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