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Womans hand holding a coffee cup next to a pen and a pad of paper

Earlier this month, I joined a Virginia synagogue's virtual Shabbat services, led by its youth group teens. Afterward, I composed and sent an email to the congregation’s cantors to tell them how touched I was by the service and to express my sincere gratitude to them.

Parisa Vinzant
Closeup of rusted prison cell bars

The Book of Proverbs instructs us to “speak up for those who cannot raise our voices on behalf of the vulnerable and downtrodden.” (Proverbs 31:8-9). The individuals who make up America’s prison population are isolated, vulnerable, and voiceless.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Rabbi Hilly Haber
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
Sunset over a calm body of water

Our ancestors turned to that pillar for strength and support in their time of waiting; so too, can we turn for help in these unprecedented times. Here is a prayer that might be recited as we light the Shabbat candles.

Rabbi Leah Doberne-Schor
Home office setup with a Shabbat scene displayed on screen

Instead of walking into Beth David’s sanctuary and settling into the wooden pews, my husband and I perched next to each other in front of my MacBook Air and logged onto Zoom, a video conferencing tool.

Helene Cohen Bludman
Parents and children at a community Tot Shabbat program

Tot Shabbat is important for our daughter and for us. Each week, it helps us integrate Judaism and its values into her life and build our own Jewish community.

Robert Schurz
View of a synagogue sanctuary with the focal point being a wooden pew with a Star of David carved on its side

When a non-Jewish acquaintance asked me: “Are you a practicing Jew?” I answered “Yes,” but the question got me thinking about what it means to be a practicing Jew.

Debra Doppelt Karplus
The author and a friend in a Jerusalem park on Shabbat

On a recent Shabbat, I spent the time with friends in the park. Within a few steps of our blanket, we watched people from every corner of Jerusalem spend the afternoon.

Aaron Torop
Silhouette of people carrying luggage through an airport with p;lanes out the window behind them

When you travel abroad, do you try to incorporate Judaism into your visits to other countries? There a myriad ways to experience Jewish life, culture, and, especially, history while traveling outside North America.

Kate Bigam Kaput
Worshippers wearing tallitot with heads bowed, intentionally praying

Often, it’s unrealistic to go from our hectic daily life to Shabbat without a buffer between the two – time to take a breath, adjust, unwind, and re-orient our thinking.

Cantor Cliff Abramson


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