During the quarantine, our lives have been turned upside down. If we are fortunate to have remained healthy (and this qualifier is not to be taken for granted nor preclude us from acknowledging the severity of the pandemic and its devastating impact on others), our lives were initially consumed with staying informed about the pandemic, protecting our health, and learning how to procure basics such as food without the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19. We may also have needed to tend to the immediate needs of others such as children or elderly relatives.
The quarantine caused...Read More
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 (Mandel Vilar Press).
Rachel, who earned her MSW in social work from Yeshiva...Read More
Shabbat observance fulfills a special purpose in nursing home settings. In the residence where I serve as cantor and hospice chaplain, Shabbat marks a unique kind of transition. The week, structured with activities and sessions, makes way for a quieter time of simple togetherness. It also signals the weekend, when spouses, children, and grandchildren, off from work and school, visit their loved ones and provide companionship.
Above all, Shabbat is an anchor that connects people to a past they may fear they’re...Read More
These days, it seems as though a new crisis erupts in the United States every month. The COVID-19 pandemic engulfed the country in early March but was followed weeks later by a sudden rise in public awareness regarding police brutality against Black people.
As the Religious Action Center’s legislative staffer responsible for health care policy, I had been immersed in the Reform Movement’s COVID-19 response since March and was admittedly caught off guard when the news shifted almost entirely to police violence in late spring. I thought to myself, “...Read More
Voting is power. It holds our elected officials accountable and is also a mitzvah (commandment or good deed). Rabbi Hillel taught, “Do not separate yourself from the community” (Avot 2:4). But what happens when people aren’t counted, and their votes are taken away?
Every voice matters, and every vote should, too – but in many places across the U.S., restrictive laws and practices disproportionately keep People of Color from voting.
As someone who is too young to vote, I am motivated to ensure that everyone who is eligible to exercise this right does so. I live in a state...Read More