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Smiling family taking a selfie together with Israeli flag pennants in the background

“Wow, this must be really different than what you expected!”

That’s the common exclamation I’ve heard as I meet and talk with people (from behind our masks) here in Israel, where my family and I are on a six-month sabbatical away from our home in Boston. It’s perhaps the understatement of the year, as all of us grapple with this new uncharted reality.

For the past four months, we have been living on a lovely, extremely well-kept and organized kibbutz in the center of the country, where, right now, there is a bit of a wartime vibe – unfortunately quite a familiar mode for...

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Ornate floral chuppah in an empty room

Around the world, stay-at-home orders and the need for extreme physical distancing has led engaged couples to cancel and postpone their wedding plans – an emotional decision for those who have been anticipating joyous celebrations of their love.

Right now, you may be feeling grateful for the health of loved ones, frustrated or resentful of the situation you find yourself in, disappointed to have to postpone your celebration, and/or worried about the resulting consequences of doing so. Whatever you and...

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Smiling teen girl digging in the dirt next to a hand painted sign that says BROCCOLI in both Hebrew and English

At a time when many of us are practicing physical distancing, it is important to strengthen our spiritual connections with one another and to the planet we all share – and the COVID-19 pandemic serves as a forceful reminder of the power of nature and the importance of societal responses to crises. Many experts have written about the parallels between COVID-19 and climate change, including the disproportionate impact on...

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Close up of the hands of an elderly man clutching the top of a cane

April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate everyone who loves to write,  read, or listen to poems of every kind. The late Reform Jewish leader Albert Vorspan, z”l, who we remember first and foremost as a champion of social justice, took up poetry while living at Woodland Pond, a continuing care retirement community in upstate New York.  

Although I knew Al, my friend and mentor at the Union for Reform Judaism, for more than 40 years, I...

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Closeup of a woman consoling a teenager

As Jewish summer camps and other cherished summer programs announce that they will not open during summer 2020 due to COVID-19 risks, parents are left to share the news with their children, many of whom are sure to be heartbroken.

Supporting young children during this difficult time begins with understanding that everyone’s needs are different. Factors like age-specific maturity and whether or not they have been to camp before will affect how each child receives the news and can guide the way you tell them and comfort them.

This resource can guide you and your family in...

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