Archive by Author

Honoring the Fallen



In 1998, when my children were 11, Saving Private Ryan was released. At the time, my boys were too young to see such a difficult movie, but I watched it on video with them a few years later. I wanted to emphasize that their freedom had been bought with many lives and that each of […]

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Making the High Holy Days Meaningful for Our Kids



Although I enjoy summer, fall has always been my favorite season. As a child, it was a new school year, with new clothes, new books, and new opportunities. As an adult, there is still something so refreshing about the crisp smell of falling leaves and sense of renewal in the air. And as I get […]

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My Son the Sailor: Honoring Our Jewish Servicemen



by Vicky Farhi It’s been four years since my son Joel first told his father and I that while college was nice, he wanted to serve his country and had chosen the Navy. Three months later, he was accepted into the navy’s nuclear training program and 6 months after that successfully completed boot camp. Last […]

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The Conversation We Should Have…



I knew a woman whose husband was having trouble getting work. He was offered a position quite far from home, but times were tough so they took their two sons and moved. The family did well, the boys grew and married, and life moved forward. Unfortunately, the husband became ill and died. Shortly after that, […]

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Freedom Rides and Photos



In early March of this year, my husband and I spend two weeks in Israel. Our guide Muki has been a friend for many years and I trust him to recommend learning experiences that will expand my understanding of Israel and Judaism. A week before we left for Israel, he suggested we try a “freedom […]

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Explaining Synagogue Dues to Those Who Are New



Synagogue dues can be difficult to understand if you weren’t raised in a family that maintained a synagogue membership. Without knowledge of the variety of mechanisms that all religious institutions use to sustain themselves financially, some charge that synagogues require you to “pay to pray.” What follows is one way that you might explain synagogue […]

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Early Engagement Strategies Bring Big Rewards



When we discuss connecting those interested in exploring Judaism we often forget two pieces of the conversation:  financial restraints and starting with early engagement of young families. Recently, there has been a lot of conversation about relationship building before asking for financial support. For many congregations, this is a difficult matter as they struggle to […]

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Welcoming Interfaith and Jews by Choice



This past Shabbat I sat on the bima during Shabbat Service as the Board of Trustees representative.During this service, a young man was being called to the Torah for the first time – he was the bar mitzvah boy. Sitting there, observing the family and friends of this young man, as well as the congregants […]

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Israel and the American Jew



I always knew I would visit Israel.  I wasn’t sure when, but I knew I would get there. Growing up, Israel was a presence. The survival of the Jewish state, in ’67 and ’73, was something my parents spoke about with concern. My close friend Judy spent summers visiting family in Israel and sharing her […]

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