Blog

Holding Out an Olive Branch on the West Bank

Sheldon Schreter
November 11, 2021
The increasingly violent actions of certain young Jewish settlers in the West Bank against Palestinians - and against their olive trees, sheep herds, vehicles, homes, water supplies, and against their persons - have deeply troubled me, as just one awful symptom of our occupation. Last spring, in the ongoing, non-violent attempts to deter the frequent harassment by their Jewish settler neighbors, I went out twice to accompany Palestinian shepherds as they grazed their flocks.

A Jewish Approach to Transgender Awareness Week

Ariel Tovlev
November 9, 2021
After services one Friday night, I was approached by a woman and child I had not seen before. The woman knew I was a rabbinical student, and said she had an important question to ask me. Then, slowly, trying to find the right words, she said, “Let’s say there was someone who was born female but realized they were male—a female to male transgender person. Would that person be able to have a bar mitzvah? Is that something Judaism would allow?”

An Israeli Reform Congregation Joins its Ethiopian Jewish Neighbors in Celebrating the Holiday of Sigd

The Israel Movement for Reform & Progressive Judaism (IMPJ)
November 3, 2021
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.

Remembering Kristallnacht After Pittsburgh

Aron Hirt-Manheimer
November 3, 2021
On November 9, we will mark the anniversary of Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass), the Third Reich's first large-scale attack on the Jews of Germany and Austria in 1938.

Cultivating a Shmita Mindset with our Screens

Dasee Berkowitz
November 1, 2021
Limiting the time we are on our devices and setting an intention about what we do there are small steps that can alter our relationship to the digital world. By committing to these changes in our day-to-day lives, we can more readily guide our kids to do the same.

Film Review: Love It Was Not

Wes Hopper
November 1, 2021
Fresh off a nomination for best documentary at the Ophir Awards, the Israeli equivalent of the Oscars, Maya Sarfaty's new film, Love It Was Not, brings to American audiences the real-life tale of a love affair between a Jewish prisoner and her Nazi SS officer.

A Letter to My Charlottesville Congregation

Rabbi Tom Gutherz
October 27, 2021
I write this as the Sines vs. Kessler trial commences. This long-awaited lawsuit seeks to hold the organizers of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally accountable for their actions. Bone-chilling evidence will be presented in this trial that will make us realize how close we came to experiencing an even greater tragedy than the death of Heather Heyer and the wounding of so many others.