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Deborah Rood Goldman

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Hands over a skillet steaming atop a stove

In her New York Times essay about cornbread and the solace that comfort food brings, Margaret Renkl describes the matriarchs in her family who survived wars and pandemics.

“Whatever else is happening outside my windows, whatever struggles are still ahead,” she writes, “just the sight of that golden disk of battery goodness can make me feel a tiny bit better.”

During this time of social isolation and physical distancing, cooking simple, comfort foods can serve as a welcome and calming distraction – even if you don’t consider yourself a cook. We’ve rounded up some easy-to-...

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Empty plate with fork and knife

During Yom Kippur, many Jews may wish one another “an easy fast,” but I’ve always been curious: How many of us find meaning in our fast, going beyond the physical discomfort and into serious introspection? And what meaning, exactly, do we find?

From those who always fast to those who have considered not doing so – and those who share how health reasons impact their fast – here are a few personal perspectives about fasting on the holiest day of the Jewish year.

What’s your perspective? Tell us in the comments or find us on Facebook or Twitter to share your views.

1. “I... Read More

Closeup of flowers blooming on a tree with a blurry view of headstones in the background as if at a cemetery

In a recent talk at my synagogue about his new book, Finding Hope and Faith in the Face of Death (Cascade Books), Rabbi Stephen Karol shared his early struggle with worrying about the uncertainty of death and told us about how his beliefs have evolved. The book is based on his many years of helping congregants in mourning, which shaped and sharpened his perceptions of death and Jewish mourning tradition.

In addition to giving frequent book talks at churches and synagogues, Rabbi Karol writes for two websites, Jewish Sacred Aging and Kavod v’Nichum. I sat down with him to ask him...

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Flatlay of green fruits and vegetables atop a green background

With Passover on the way, many of us are planning festive seder dinners and a week of eating within kosher-for-Passover restrictions. The two main themes of Passover – spring and freedom – go hand in hand with the holiday’s agricultural aspect.

This Passover, celebrate the cycle of time and nature with an approach to food that protects our environment, prioritizes good health, and lines up with Reform Jewish values. For a look at vegan living, we chatted with award-winning chef and author Mark Reinfeld, co-founder of Vegan Fusion.

ReformJudaism.org: What foods are included...

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Two wooden mailboxes covered in snow

I was rushing through the aisles of Stop and Shop on my lunch hour last Friday, having made up my mind to cook a traditional Ashkenazi Hanukkah dinner on the auspicious occasion of meeting my daughter’s boyfriend’s family for the first time. I was hosting them the next night and opted for a crowd-pleasing menu: potato soup, brisket, latkes, applesauce, and a colorful salad.

It was the fifth day of Hanukkah, and I had to be at my synagogue at 6:15 that Friday evening for our annual latkes and dessert party. It’s a popular event, and as temple president, the expected high turnout of...

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