As 2022 draws to a close, it’s time to highlight some of the best Jewish content of the past year. Art, marriage, coming of age, healing, history, and antisemitism are all on display in a year that has had its fair share of public tumult.
Some of the best stories from our tradition involve a question presented on one level that is answered on a completely different and surprising level.
Nearly two months ago, our Just Zionism group landed in Israel as the election to cement a far-right government in the Knesset was taking effect. When we landed, I had a surface-level understanding of Israeli politics but was about to get a crash course on the election's implications for the activists who were heartbroken by the results.
I'm grateful for Carter's trust in me. What started as a teacher-student relationship (I was his theatre teacher at CAA) slowly morphed into a mentor-mentee relationship with post-camp questions about Judaism, acting, and being a young trans person in this world.
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.
On November 2, 2022, I landed at Ben Gurion Airport for the first time. Filled with many emotions, this being my first trip to Israel, I decided to keep an open mind as I joined twelve young adult leaders on a journey to learn more about Israel, Zionism, and why Jews in the Diaspora, especially in the United States, should be engaged.
"Good Night Oppy," a documentary streaming on Amazon Prime about the two robotic rovers that NASA sent to Mars in 2003, grabbed me by the heart. What I did not expect to experience from this movie was a potent lesson in parenting from NASA engineers.
As Jews, we have the opportunity to celebrate the New Year not once, but several times. The Jewish year has four different New Year celebrations: Rosh HaShanah, Passover, Tu BiShvat, and Elul. Many Jews also celebrate the Gregorian New Year in January. That means we get five opportunities every year to do an accounting of our soul (cheshbon hanefesh) and make resolutions for growth and betterment.