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Sukkot: Festival of Voting Booths
It is a tradition that we observe as Americans as well, as we enter into booths each fall (and occasionally at other moments during the year) in order to make our voices heard and exercise our right to vote.
Sukkot, Diversity, and Unity: How Each of Us is Like the Four Species
While all Jewish holidays serve as great opportunities to practice audacious hospitality, Sukkot has always stood out to me as the most audaciously hospitable of Jewish holidays. What other time of year do we build a temporary makeshift house through the commandment of inviting ushpizin (guests)...
Stop Cuts to Family Planning
The past few weeks have brought mixed news in the realm of sexuality education. At the end of June, we wrote about a House sub-committee vote to eliminate programs proven to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy, reduce abortion and save tax dollars in Fiscal Year 2016. Since then, a Senate sub-committee voted to advance similar cuts, proposing a budget that would significantly cut funding for the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) and for Title X family planning centers, while increasing funding for abstinence-only until marriage programs by 300 percent. By gutting funding to family planning services for low-income individuals and undermining evidence-based programs like TPPP, these appropriations bills would leave millions of Americans without information and services to keep themselves safe and healthy.
Putting Down Roots: Why Our Jewish Family Needs a Yard Full of Trees
We celebrated the holiday of Tu BiShvat – the “Jewish Arbor Day” – way back in February, and we won’t celebrate it again until January. But no matter: I need to talk about the trees now.
Coming Full Circle: The NFTY in Israel Tikkun Olam Experience
by Sharon Mann The phrase “what goes around, comes around” came to mind recently as I remembered back five years to the time I saw my daughter, Ayelet, off on a flight from Tel Aviv to Toronto, Canada. She was headed to URJ Camp George, a Reform Jewish summer camp where she would spend the summer as a camper, part of an Israeli youth delegation from the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism. Now, she’s graduated from Mechinat Gal’s Pre-Army Academy, a post-high school Israeli gap year program that emphasizes volunteer work, leadership training, and enrichment studies. As a staff member at The Hannaton Educational Center, she’s come full circle, welcoming North American teens from NFTY in Israel to her home, eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel). At Hannaton, the teenagers participate in a tikkun olam chavaya (repairing the world experience) that includes hands-on volunteer work as they learn to make a positive contribution to Israel and the world.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry – Even in a Pandemic
Aligned with the rhythm of our earth turning on its axis, our season of returning (
What’s Different about High Holidays Challah?
In Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah taught, “If there is no bread, there is no Torah; and if there is no Torah, there is no bread.” I love these words. They echo in my mind when I partake in two of my favorite almost daily activities, the study of Torah and the baking bread. On the holidays, these two passions intersect, as they have for generations of Jews, when I shape challah. The traditional shapes for challot (plural) can be Torah study on our very festival tables.
Inspired 5781: More Art, More Awe
I grew up going to services. A lot of services. I was adept at counting the ceiling tiles, reaching into the thousands as my grasp of numbers grew more sophisticated. The melodies became part of my life soundtrack; I hummed them as my mind wandered during the rabbi’s sermon.
10 Cozy, Cinnamon-Centric Recipes with a Jewish Twist
What’s your autumn flavor of choice? Is it spiced pumpkin, or maybe seasonal apples? How about cozy cinnamon? Here are 10 Jewishly inspired, easy to make, tried-and-true recipes featuring cinnamon that you’re going to love.
A Prayer for Migrants in Detention
During this Sukkot and as we act to secure a more just immigration system, let us say the Mi Shebeirach, a prayer for healing.