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This year, even if you do not have a sukkah to visit, you can still experience the kavanah (intention) and the ruach (spirit) of Sukkot.
Known as z’man simchateinu (season of our rejoicing), Sukkot is the only festival associated with an explicit commandment to rejoice.
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.
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.
Here are eight wonderful things about Hanukkah, one for each night, that can enhance our celebrations of this beloved holiday.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law 22 years ago to allow workers to take a maximum 12 weeks unpaid time off of work to care for a new child (including adopted and foster children); care for a sick child; act as a caregiver for a parent; address personal serious health concerns; and care for wounded service members. After the decision in United States v. Windsor, in which the part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defining marriage as between a man and a woman for federal purposes was struck down, the Department of Labor announced that FMLA would apply to eligible employees in same-sex marriages if the employee resided in a state that recognized their marriage. Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center, submitted comments last August to the Department of Labor in support of this change when it was proposed.
Craving personal connection to actual people? Missing in-person contact with your clergy and community? Consider “Drive Thru Judaism” as an antidote to quarantined community.
Warm up in the cool of the Sukkot evenings with rich Italian bicerin, lusciously layered with coffee, chocolate and cream.
Our tradition teaches us that the Passover Seder is meant to be a learning experience for children of all ages, from 1 - 100. Our questions are more important that the answers. As you prepare to sit around the Seder table, we’d like to offer you some additional questions to help connect the past, present, and future of our Passover traditions.