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As regular readers of this blog may have noticed through my comments on other people's posts, I've recently returned from a river cruise through Ukraine -- fortunately arriving home before the Georgian crisis erupted -- and want to share some thoughts in three general areas:

  1. Differences between Jewish and secular travel
  2. The changes that appear to have taken place in Ukraine since my prior trip in 2001
  3. Ukrainian roots for American Jews

Differences between Jewish and secular travelOur trip was organized by Alumni Holidays International, and sponsoredby...

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A few months ago, during an informal visit in my apartment from my parents, my sister and my nephew Ian, I was stretched out on the living room floor and Ian, as five-year-olds are want to do, was walking on my back and climbing all over me. When his weight hit a spot that made my back crack, I groaned, "Oh, Ian, just call me your personal Uncle Irv," before squirming out from under all 40-something pounds of him. "Like mother, like aunt, like nephew," I thought.

I remember how my sister and I used to climb all over our beloved Uncle Irv for piggy back rides and how, as...

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My daughter graduated from high school Saturday. The weather changed from cold and rainy to a sunny 80 degree day. The plague of cicadas awaited for 17 years and due to arrive by now were yet to emerge from the ground. I arrived early and got a front row seat knowing that I could not miss seeing my beloved child on this special day. It was Shabbat and all was right. The ceremony began with a chorus of beautiful voices of young men and women and by the second song all eyes turned to the heavens. From a very high set of lights that illuminate the field at night there was a nest with two...

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My congregation, established in 1956, is only a few months older than I am. My paternal grandparents were among the founding families, and my parents joined immediately upon moving back to Milwaukee shortly before my birth. I joined to raise my children here.

Much has changed since the days of my youth. Gone is the formal Friday evening service led by the black-robed rabbi and hidden quartet. Gone is the original ark, whose fabric curtain was donated by my grandparents. Gone, too, are most of the founding generation, but...

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Doug Mishkin is a Partner at, and co-chair of the Emplyment Law Practice Group of, the Washington-based Law firm of Patton Boggs LLP.  He is also a noted singer/songwriter, and a long-time friend of the Religious Action Center.

Carolyn Goodman, a remarkable civil rights advocate, passed away Friday at age 91.  The New York Times ran a terrific obituary (available here) on Saturday.  The Religious Action Center was honored to...

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