Growing up in rural Massachusetts, Judaism held a much different context in my life than it does now. Until college, I did Judaism, mimicking the motions of being a "good Jew." I didn't combine milk and meat in my house because my father told me not to.
As the son of Holocaust survivors, I ruled out the possibility of ever visiting a concentration camp. Doing so would be emotionally off the charts.
Yom HaShoah is typically a somber time to reflect, and for me personally, to be angry at the world. Last year, however, was different.
To make the ceremonies and reflections of Holocaust Remembrance Day meaningful, there must be ways it informs our decisions as Jews and as human beings all year long.
Yom HaShoah is a day of mourning in Israel. Many stores close, music on the radio reflects the somber nature of the day, and most amazing is the sound of the siren.
The start of baseball season reminds me that as a young boy in Southern California in 1965, I thought only one thing when I heard the word “hero”: Sandy Koufax.
As Israel marks 70 years, here are seven ways (one for each decade!) to engage your congregation in celebrating the country and her people -- now and throughout the year.