I've been reflecting on the story of America's founding - the narrative many of us learn as children in the United States. I've recently learned a different version of that story - one that I now recognize intertwines with my own. My identities as Cuban American and Jewish have been shaped by Indigenous stories in America and in Cuba; particularly the themes of beginnings, loss, transformation, and change.
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Beejhy Barhany (she/her) is an entrepreneur and activist who was born in Ethiopia, raised in Israel, and currently resides in New York. Today, she is the chef and owner of an eclectic Ethiopian restaurant in Harlem, New York, Tsion Café, that incorporates cuisine from the many places that have influenced her journey.
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.
In honor of the upcoming holiday of Mimouna, celebrated by Moroccan Jews at the end of Passover, we sat down with Gal Andres (she/her), who shared her favorite Mimouna celebrations and traditions.
December 7 marks the 80th anniversary of the surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu. The attack led to America's formal entry into World War II. What ensued would have a profound impact on Jews everywhere, including the American Jewish community.
An Israeli Reform Congregation Joins its Ethiopian Jewish Neighbors in Celebrating the Holiday of Sigd
For many generations, the Beta Israel had longed to reach Jerusalem in a quest to renew their covenant with God and for spiritual redemption. So strong was their desire that they created a holiday as a time to pray for this miracle. They called it Sigd (meaning "worship") and celebrated it on the 50th day after Yom Kippur. This year it is celebrated today, November 4.
Isaac Hirt-Manheimer is the founder of Unity Ecovillage in Ghana, constructed according to eco-friendly principles that he learned while attending the Green Apprenticeship training program at Kibbutz Lotan in Israel.
Sometime during the Middle Ages, a Jew in Cairo acknowledged the fact that joy usually comes with a dose of pain, and pain with joy, so they took a bite of that seder concoction, and left its dribblings for me to see in New York.
It has been almost 50 years since I met my wife Judy in Jerusalem. She came into my life like the Sabbath queen about to enter the synagogue, with everyone rising and turning toward the door to welcome her in.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, z”l, served as chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years. This interview with him first aired on the podcast OnBeing in 2010.