Inspired by Stan, our congregation's 83-year-old bar mitzvah boy, I’m thinking that I may not wait until I turn 83 to recreate some part of my entry into adulthood, according to Jewish tradition, on an upcoming Friday night.
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
(Langston Hughes, “Harlem”)
Recently I began to volunteer once a week, assisting the English literature teacher in a nearby Arab high school. I’ve known the teacher, and the principal, for many years, through arranging encounters for their students with Jewish visitors, and this seems like a good way to stay in touch and involved. My first assignment was to present a background lesson to two 10th-grade classes studying a poem by Langston Hughes (“the poet laureate of Harlem,” who died in 1967). This assignment meant covering slavery, emancipation, the Civil War, Jim Crow, and the civil rights struggle, in simple English, assuming almost no historical background, in 40 minutes. Interesting challenge.
This story of Israel’s diversity, coexistence and humanitarian aid as evidenced by the Galillee Medical Center community moves me, and especially now, I feel it is important to share it with others.
It’s a recurring biblical pattern: Time and again, it’s the woman who “gets it” and the man who does not.
There is much we can learn from these women, starting with Eve.
I have come to the Newtown Congregational Church, less than a half mile from Sandy Hook Elementary School, to attend an interfaith discourse about guns in our society.
“Showing up,” Woody Allen once noted is “80 percent of life.” Fair enough, but what about the other 20 percent?
Rather than planning separate programming for people with disabilities, take a look at what your community already offers and view it through an inclusive lens. Ask, “What can we do to make this more inclusive?”
What is love? The word is used in so many ways and is so fundamental to Judaism, yet its meaning is so elusive that it is often difficult to know what it actually means to say that you love someone.
Judaism was so unfamiliar to my son that he was wary of my Hanukkah gift. I felt as though, at such a young age, he was choosing to shun my religion, to identify with Christianity. Of course, if he chooses to identify with either religion later in life, that decision will be his own – but for now, I need to at least give Judaism a fighting chance.