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Sukkot in a Time Of Pandemic: A Poem
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.
It's Sukkot, Let's Vote: The Letter I Wrote to My Neighbors about Our Sukkah
Known as z’man simchateinu (season of our rejoicing), Sukkot is the only festival associated with an explicit commandment to rejoice.
On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah: Within These Three Walls - Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot
This week is Chol HaMo-eid Sukkot, the six days between the festival of Sukkot and Simchat Torah.
How We’re Creating a Family Tradition of Charitable Giving
According to Jewish tradition, tzedakah is part of our obligation to help repair the world. Making charitable contributions helps others, and in doing so, it also helps me and my sons.
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.
Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century
Family Papers: A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by prominent historian of the Sephardic community, Sarah Abrevaya Stein, tells the riveting story o
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.
8 Thematic Ideas to Make Every Night of Hanukkah Shine
Here are eight wonderful things about Hanukkah, one for each night, that can enhance our celebrations of this beloved holiday.
Hanukkah Reconsidered: A Split in the Jewish Soul
I grew up loving this holiday – until I learned the dark side and felt like a kid discovering that there’s no Santa Claus. It turns out Hanukkah is, in part, a tale of Jew vs. Jew.