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Parents and children at a community Tot Shabbat program

I love Tot Shabbat.

I’ve written before about how excited my wife and I are to bring our daughter into the world of Reform Judaism and expose her to its values. Tot Shabbat represents her first opportunity to take a step forward and create her own version of Judaism.

For the uninitiated, Tot Shabbat is a Friday or Saturday program series for families with children up to about age 6 that incorporates music and movement to introduce the history, values, and traditions of Judaism to a new generation. It brings...

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palm trees blowing in a hurricane

The rain and wind have died down, but the damage and devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian continues to be uncovered. Our prayers are with those affected by the storm, including the brave first responders who put their lives on the line to help those in need. Along with prayer, we know there is a need for action and tangible aid, which is why’s parent organization, the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), is offering ideas of how to support those who were affected by the storm. 

Donate to organizations providing on-the-... Read More

The author with another staff member at Camp Coleman

As a young girl in Uganda’s Abayudaya Jewish community, I spent a lot of time in and around the synagogue with friends – acting and singing psalms in Hebrew and Luganda, as well as songs for the volunteers who came to our village to teach Hebrew and English. During services, my friends and I took the younger kids out to teach them the Hebrew songs and prayers we had learned. I remember how proud I felt when, having memorized the Mourners Kaddish, I taught it to my friend's mother to say in honor of her...

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Interior of the Knesset, Israel's parliament

In the forthcoming book, Deepening the Dialogue: Israelis and American Jews Envision the Jewish-Democratic State (New York: CCAR Press, 2019), Rabbi Eric Yoffie and Dr. Ruth Gavison parsed brilliantly what lies at the heart of M’gillat HaAtzmaut’s (Israel’s Declaration of Independence - DOI) aspirations, vision, and principles. As they suggest, the Declaration of Independence is the Jewish people’s and State of Israel’s aspirational mission statement.

Israel’s Declaration of Independence is among the world’s great visionary statements of a nation’s essence and purpose. It compares...

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Hands holding up a white cutout of a speech bubble with a heart on it

Many Jews see the month of Elul (the last month of the Hebrew calendar) as an opportunity to reflect before the High Holidays. When we take the proper time to think about the past year – instances in which we exceled and those where we could’ve done better – we honor ourselves by taking the time to properly prepare to start the next year off right.

Part of that reflection means taking stock of how audaciously hospitable...

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