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Rituals

Black and white image of Cantor Katie Oringel teaching students outdoors in Israel with only her rainbow kippah appearing in color

When we arrived in Israel, I removed it my kippah. I’d become comfortable wearing it in Toronto, but in Israel, I feared being questioned about my Jewish choice.

Cantor Katie Oringel
Mezuzah hanging on the doorway of a blank wall

“Rabbi, I’m moving tomorrow and just wanted to ask you: Is there a proper way to take down my mezuzah?”

Rabbi Rachel G. Greengrass
Haley Stav on stage presenting her address on the bimah

It's been one year since the shooting at my high school that left 17 injured and another 17 dead.

Haley Stav
Five shiny silver dollars on a blue background

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.

Cantor Lauren Phillips
Piece of broken matzah wrapped in a purple checkered cloth

The Passover ritual of the afikomen is wonderfully playful and deeply profound. It was a stroke of pedagogical genius to include a ritual so physical!

Rabbi David Wirtschafter
Closeup of the white flowers on a tree with blurry images of a graveyard in the distance behind it

I feel that it is time that we, as rabbis and as a Jewish community, begin to speak more about the environmental advantages of a traditional Jewish burial.

Fred Guttman
Gravestones on lawn in a Jewish cemetery

People often ask me how a nice Jewish girl from the Midwest landed in New York City running one of the largest Jewish funeral chapels in the region.

Stephanie Garry

The gates read “Welcome Home,” but I had left my home five hours earlier. As my dad and I approached the table labeled “1,” we met a woman who checked my name off a list and gave me a bracelet.

Hannah Elbaum

I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re all from families with some level of dysfunction. It’s a human thing. It’s healthy. Look at the founders of Judaism: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses.

Cantor David M. Mannes

On a recent Saturday at my synagogue, we paused in an evening program to make Havdalah.

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

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