Posts Tagged: Chanukah

Make Miracles Happen This Hanukkah by Helping Ethan Kadish



On June 29, at Goldman Union Camp Institute, a URJ summer camp near Indianapolis, Ethan Kadish was teaching a group of younger children how to play ultimate Frisbee when a bolt of lightning struck him to the ground. Today, Ethan is in the Rehabilitation Unit at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital preparing for his upcoming discharge to […]

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Doing Right, Even After the Festival of Lights



When most people think of Hanukkah, the first things that come to mind have absolutely nothing to do with social justice. Let’s be honest, our priorities rest with sufganiyot, latkes, and dreidels for the Festival of Light. (And that’s OK, although your doctor might disagree!) Regardless of how we choose to celebrate Hanukkah, there remains […]

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Home for the Holidays



by Rabbi Ira Youdavin My plane landed at Ben Gurion Airport last Wednesday evening, four days before I would be joining the Jewish Council for Public Affairs National Leadership Mission, and 72 hours before the first night of Hanukkah. The early arrival was different from my usual pattern. Normally, I speed from the airport to […]

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December Decisions



by Julie Unger December is a tricky month for many interfaith couples and their families. It evokes nostalgic childhood memories and family traditions that are deeply rooted; so you’re bound to have a little conflict. To respect both sides and to minimize conflict, it’s important to discuss the December holiday plans and practices early on […]

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The Hanukkah Menorah Becomes a National American Phenomenon



by Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut, PhD Two significant historical events facilitated the growing awareness for Americans that Hanukkah was a major holiday for Jewish people and that it was fast becoming attendant to Christmas festivities. The first was the formal recognition of Hanukkah by the White House that was accompanied by a menorah lighting ceremony. On […]

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Hanukkah Gelt and Candy Canes – But It’s Not What You Think!



By Dr. Madelyn M. Katz Anyone who has visited my home or my office knows that I have a rather large collection of Hanukkah menorahs.  It is not a collection that any museum would covet – just a lot of contemporary, fun menorahs from all sorts of stores, ranging from the Shalom House to Bed, […]

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In an Interfaith Relationship? Reach Out and Open Up!



by Jordan Peck Make sure you are helping your partner get what they need. This was a simple yet powerful concept my fiancée and I learned while participating in the free ‘Inside interfaith Relationships’ workshop through Reform Jewish Outreach Boston. Emily is a self-described “C and E” (Christmas and Easter) Congregationalist Protestant, I grew up […]

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Are You Spiritual?



It’s an elusive idea, spirituality. Broad and deep, spirituality is as hard to define as is love or goodness, truth or beauty. Many people may not be interested in spirituality. But they are interested in meaningful relationships and community. Does that sound like you? Herein lies the beauty of how many of us understand what it means to be spiritual.

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A New Hanukkah Parody to Enjoy



If you’re a fan of Top 40 music, you’ve probably had Fun.’s “Some Nights” stuck in your head at some point or another. This Hanukkah season, a cappella group StandFour has come up with a Jewish twist on this radio favorite and others. Check out “Eight Nights,” below, and leave a comment below letting us […]

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Chanukah – From Battleground to Festival of Lights



By Rabbi Daniel B. Syme The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication” and refers to the joyous eight-day celebration through which Jews commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and “rededication” of the Temple in Jerusalem. Technically, Chanukah is considered a “minor” Jewish festival. Yet […]

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Chinese Chicken and Sacred Text: A Reform Jewish Response to Literalism



by Rabbi Joseph A. Skloot Until 2008, one of the most popular foods served in Beijing restaurants was known in English as “saliva chicken.” This was actually a literal translation of the dish’s traditional name in Mandarin—which could also be translated as “chicken that makes your mouth water.” In advance of that year’s Olympic games, […]

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A Sustainable Chanukah



by Rabbi Rick Schechter “A great miracle happened there,” we say, as we spin the Chanukah dreidel each year while eating latkes fried in oil. But what was “the miracle” of Chanukah? Our tradition recounts more than one. The first miracle is that a small band of Jews defeated the more powerful Syrian army in […]

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A Congregation That Welcomes Interfaith Cares About Everyone



by Marcia Brandt Frezza Several years ago my husband Tony and I moved to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina and joined Congregation Beth Yam.  What a blessing for us to find this amazing community!  What is unique about Congregation Beth Yam is that the  we have developed  a culture of caring that is part […]

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Al HaNissim (For the Miracles)



by Bill Page One of the Hanukkah songs we sing begins with the words, al hanissim (for the miracles), and thanks God for all the miracles performed for our fathers, in those days, in this season (the last referring to the Hanukkah season).  So what are the miracles, plural, for which we are thanking God?  […]

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