Posts Tagged: community

Camp Works: Strengthening the Jewish Family



This summer, I walked into GUCI in Zionsville, IN, and immediately felt like I was part of the family. Why? Besides hearing a rousing rendition of “Heiveinu Shalom Aleichem” and the overwhelming number of Midwestern smiles and “hellos” I received, the thing that made me feel most like a part of the GUCI family was being introduced not as the CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, but as former GUCI campers Jeff, Evan, and Andrew’s uncle! As I see over and over on my camp visits – now 85 different camps – Jewish camps are each families on their own and they are part of our larger Jewish family.

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Harold Grinspoon Visits Camp and Inspires Us All



by Marc Newburgh During the many years in which my wife and I had the opportunity to watch our boys as they spent time as campers and staff at Camp George, we came to the conclusion that whoever said it takes a village to raise a child was absolutely right. But for those of you […]

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One Year Later: How Bay Area Mitzvah Corps Changed My Life



The biggest impact it had was this new attitude I have, which is that I pretty much agree to try anything. If someone asks me to help with something, or to try something new, even if I don’t necessarily feel 100% excited about it, I like to take part. It’s surprising how much you can enjoy something just by doing what you might not think you want to do. I learned to put myself into new situations that seem weird or scary, and just go with it…because, seriously, why not?

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The First of Many Summers Together – GFC & MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger



“There are 17 million children going to school without breakfast every morning and that number keeps increasing. Who is to say that I am not next? Please do something.”

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Sowing Seeds, Braiding Community



The URJ recently announced our 2012 Incubator Grant recipients, which help our congregations implement new programs to further engage current members and attract new members. We’re also thrilled to follow up on the good work of one of our 2011 Incubator Grant recipients, Congregation Bet Ha’am in South Portland, ME, which has documented its program […]

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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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Honoring Rabbi Jonah Pesner: An Activism Grown Out of Faith



About 200 Jewish activists, rabbis, and communal leaders gathered in New York City for the Jewish Organizing Institute and Network for Justice’s (JOIN for Justice) recent National Summit. At the summit, JOIN for Justice honored the URJ’s Senior Vice President Rabbi Jonah Pesner with the Tekiah Social Justice Award. Rabbi Pesner was honored for his […]

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A Gem Grows in Brooklyn



by Rabbi Andy Bachman Earlier today, I stood on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art together with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and many of Congregation Beth Elohim’s (CBE) neighbors and friends—the Brooklyn Public Library, The High Line, the Guggenheim Museum, the Tenement Museum, and many, many others. I was absolutely thrilled […]

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A Recipe for Preparing a Congregational Seder



by Cantor Alane Katzew A congregational seder is a wonderful way for a small congregation to build community while sharing the experience of the Exodus. While it can be daunting for one person, when the work is shared and delegated among many according to their interests and abilities, the results can be awesome, educational and […]

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How To Talk to Your Child About…



by Stephanie Zinn Our congregation, M’kor Shalom of Cherry Hill, NJ, has introduced a unique program which has personally touched my soul. It is a monthly gathering, led by our own Rabbi Richard Address, entitled “How to Talk to your Child About…”  While the talk is open to everyone in our community, it is geared […]

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Mitzvah Corps Really is a Mitzvah



by Samantha Dresser For the last five summers, I’ve been part of the URJ’s Kutz Camp community in Warwick, NY, where approximately 200 teens from all over the country come together for intense leadership training, Jewish living, celebration and fun. Kutz also is home to Mitzvah Corps, a unique entrée into Jewish camping for teens […]

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Special Needs and Parent-Educator Partnerships in Jewish Early Childhood Education



by Dana Rosenbloom, M.S. Ed. Each August early childhood program teachers, and teachers of all ages, keep an eye on their mailbox or their inbox for the roster of children who will be in their class the coming year. Are there any children we know? Parents we’ve had before? Children with special needs?  As an […]

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Spotlight on Communities of Caring and Connection

Reducing Loneliness for Caregivers



by Benjamin J. Dubin Some 35 years ago my wife, Esther, gave birth to an adorable girl, Rachel. It was not until Rachel was three that we knew she had a hearing loss. Then, at the age of five, Rachel lost all her residual hearing. Esther, a coronary care nurse, took a break in her […]

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A Prayer for My Commonwealth



Last Monday, it was my great honor to offer the invocation at the annual Massachusetts State of the Commonwealth Address given by Governor Deval Patrick. Here are the words that I shared: In the Torah portion That the Jewish people read this week We hear the story of the exodus; Specifically, the recitation of the plagues […]

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