Posts Tagged: family

A Special Worship Service for Jews with Disabilities and Their Families



by Nancy Crown When I was called to meet with a member of my synagogue’s Congregation-Based Community Organizing Committee, I almost declined.  I was asked to think about what the temple could do that it was not already doing. My main reaction was to reflect on the many opportunities for learning, worship, and community that […]

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The Chadash Program – A New Path for Young Adults with Disabilities



And then we asked, “what’s next?” It seemed only right and necessary that Coleman would be part of the next stage in Gideon’s life journey. So, in partnership with Bobby Harris and the Coleman community that is our family home, the Chadash program has been born. “Chadash” means “new,” and this truly is a new opportunity, a new path – one that can help give young adults with disabilities tools and skills for life success.

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Just Say Yes: Inclusion is a No-Brainer



Past President Michael Kaplan likes to tell the story about why he joined his current congregation and ultimately became its president. He talks about one High Holy Days when he entered the sanctuary with his wife, their profoundly challenged son Brandon, and Brandon’s guide dog. Settling into the services, sitting in the front row, they […]

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Moving Our Community from a “Serve Us” to a “Service” Mentality



by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas I’ve had the privilege to learn from URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs on several occasions, the most recent of which was in January 2013 in Chicago. I was there, along with a lay partner, and representatives from a handful of other congregations to form the first cohort of the URJ’s […]

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Hey, Adults! It’s Time to Listen to Kids



by Emily Aronoff Teck I keep hearing grown-ups say things to kids that I doubt they really mean. “If you don’t behave, the rabbi might get mad and kick you out of services.” “People are here to pray, so you shouldn’t be making any noise.” “Temple is a place to show respect, which means you […]

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What the B’nai Mitzvah Revolution Is (and Is Not)



The Journal of Youth Engagement is an online forum of ideas and dialogue for those committed to engaging youth in vibrant Jewish life and living. Join the discussion and become a contributor. [Editor's Note: Rabbi David's congregation, Adath Emanu-El, is participating in the B’nai Mitzvah Revolution Active Learning Network. This article originally appeared in the synagogue's […]

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“Reinventing The Bar Mitzvah” on HuffPost Live



On the heels of last week’s New York Times article on the Reform Movement’s efforts to revamp and reinvigorate b’nai mitzvah, HuffPost Live recently ran a great segment on the same topic, featuring the URJ’s own Rabbi Bradley Solmsen on a panel of guests. As Director of Youth Engagement, Rabbi Solmsen heads the Reform Movement’s […]

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Camp Harlam: Where Family Becomes Family



…siblings, cousins, parents and children – intentionally find one another, not just to say “Shabbat Shalom,” but to check in with each other, to really embrace each other, to talk to each others’ friends and counselors, and ultimately to deepen their relationships.

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How I Met My Brother



HSJ becomes more important to us than ever before. It is our portal of communication. It is the place that we can come back to in one year or twenty years and act like the same goofy kids we always have been. It is the sanctuary where we both discovered our Jewish identities. It is our safe haven and our home. It shaped who we are today.

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I’m Home



by Sarah Braslow I have spent the last six summers here at Jacobs Camp. I spent three summers as a camper; one summer in the Camp’s staff-in-training program (now called Gesher), and two wonderful summers as a counselor. Now, as my seventh summer gets rolling, I have taken on a new role –  something I […]

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Intermarriage Makes a Better Jew and Jewish Professional



My name is Rachel Jurisz-Singh. Some of you know me by the name I use professionally – Jurisz – which is actually my maiden name. Yes, I am intermarried and my family is interracial too. Growing up I never thought I would choose to marry outside of my faith. I was always involved in my […]

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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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Grandparents and Intermarriage: Learning to Accept Their Children’s Choices



by Marcia Frezza Like me, most of my fellow congregants at Congregation Beth Yam, located on a Barrier Island in southern South Carolina, came to Hilton Head Island for the beauty of the location; we later found a true home here with a very active Reform congregation and a wonderful community., Today, this 200-plus member […]

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A Bracha for the Spouse Who Isn’t Jewish



by Rabbi Elias Lieberman Like many congregations within the Reform Movement, our community of 310 households has many interfaith families. Some 65% of the children in our education program have a parent who is not a Jew. In every case, however, these interfaith couples have made a decision to raise their children as Jews and […]

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