High Holidays

Keeping Family Close, Regardless of Distance

Rabbi Stacey Blank
As I boarded the plane to Israel in the summer of 2002 for my first year of rabbinical school at HUC in Jerusalem, my mother said, "Please, just don't meet an Israeli." As soon as the plane touched down at Ben Gurion airport, I knew that I was home. A few months later, I met that Israeli. From our first conversation, he understood that I was studying to be a rabbi, and I understood that he wanted to live only in Israel.

A Vegan Rosh HaShanah for a Sweet New Year

Kayla Kaplan
I am vegan because I am Jewish. Everything that led me to a vegan practice came from my childhood where I kept kosher, learned by asking thoughtful questions, and practiced daily rituals like hand washing and reciting brachot that brought intention to aspects of daily life.

The Stories We Tell

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Jacqueline Mates-Muchin

In his 1966 novel, The Gates of the Forest, Elie Wiesel famously wrote, "God created [hu]man[s] because [God] loves stories." Indeed, each of our lives is a story that is told to the world. Our stories involve many characters, have plot twists, and offer lessons that teach something of the nature of life. Our life stories highlight what is important to us, what ideals guide us, and the significant experiences that have shaped who we are. Every life is a story. Telling that story helps us remember who we are.

A Liberatory Elul Journey

Yolanda Savage-Narva
The month before the High Holidays, Elul, is a time of spiritual preparation and t'shuvah. This year, as we conclude a Shmita, or sabbatical year, after focusing on taking time to pause, rest and reflect, I feel a sense of urgency and the need to act.