Rabbi Melissa Zalkin Stollman
When tragedy strikes, as it did on February 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School in Parkland, FL, many turn to their religious institutions and clergy to seek answers and comfort. Those in shock want to know “Why?” and “How could this happen to us?”
On that day and the ones that followed, Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland, FL, opened its doors to welcome anyone in need of shelter or a refuge from the emotional storm starting to ensue in town. Teens and parents gathered to talk, to pray, to heal, and just to sit and be together in a safe emotional space. Over...Read More
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5
As I sit on the porch of my cabin, feeling the breeze pass by as the wind chime clinks, I reflect on my time at URJ Kutz Camp so far. Friends and congregants often ask, “Why do you go to the Kutz during the summer?” Located in Warwick, N.Y., it is far away from my home in Florida and is only for teens aspiring to lead or create in some way. Serving as a returning faculty member, especially this year in particular, is more than just a chance for me to teach...Read More
Every other month, I write a column in our community magazine, The Parklander. This month, the subject of the article is “How far should forgiveness go?” What a tough question in light of all that has taken place during the past month in my hometown of Parkland, FL, just a mile down the road from my congregation.
I am angry. I am hurt. I am scared. I am exhausted. And, I feel helpless. How could I possibly answer this question as myself or as a communal leader?
I don’t even know where to begin in terms of forgiveness.
Do I forgive the shooter because of his mental...Read More
As the working mom of three kids, a five-year-old and two-and-a-half-year-old twins, most of my week-day mornings go something like this:
6:30 a.m. - I’m awakened with three yells of “Mom!!” and two kids running into the room. We spend the next hour hanging out together, playing, and watching television. Toward the end of the hour I attempt, repeatedly, to get the twins’ diapers changed and get everyone dressed. I’m only somewhat successful.
8 a.m. - I prepare and serve breakfast to at least two children. The third is running around the house or hiding in an attempt to...Read More
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