Tag Archives: Jewish Identity

Seventy Faces of Torah Daniel-Lehmann

Many Covenantal Paths: Catholic and Jewish Partnership

Parshat Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23 In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Yitro—named for Moses’ father-in-law—Jethro (Yitro in Hebrew) is described first as a priest of Midian, and only after that as the father of Moses’ wife. The beginning of the parasha introduces us to two religious leaders who model the way different religious communities can appreciate God’s covenantal relationship with the other. Jethro says, “Blessed be the Lord who delivered you… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Adam Lavitt

Watching, Waiting, Reflecting: Dreaming in Times of Darkness

Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. (Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream”) The world seems like a dark place right now. I don’t know if there is any way to effectively battle institutional racism, or the rampant capitalism that is all but destroying the middle class – or how to respond… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Josh Stanton

Moses was Twice a Refugee

Parshat Va’era, Exodus 6:2 – 9:35 “Middle Eastern tyrant brutalizes his people and causes them to flee for their lives.” This has become a common trope in news stories in recent years, and feels particularly acute right now. According to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, there are nearly 4.5 million refugees from the Syrian civil war and interwoven regional conflicts. Some in Europe and the United States are… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Lisa Goldstein

Aligning Ourselves with the God Who Changes

Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 It is a lovely coinciding of our inner and outer worlds that we begin a new book of the Torah just as the new secular year begins:  a fresh page, a fresh day, all kinds of possibilities.  And yet, as we enter Parshat Shemot and the book of Exodus, it takes us all of seven verses before we come to the constriction traditionally associated with the… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah friedman-web-100x100

Family Across the Divide

Parshat Vayigash, Genesis 44:18-47:27 The refugee stood before the government official and pleaded for mercy. His plight was desperate. He came with a large family, seeking asylum from conditions in his home country. Loved ones were still back home, awaiting word. Returning home without help meant death. There is a new term in the international humanitarian scene: climate refugee. As drought, flooding, crop failures and water shortages become more frequent,… Read Article →

Rabbinical School Student Blog Jessica Lowenthal

Have We Learned from History? A Hanukkah Reflection

We say that we need to learn from history, but how often do we actually do so? Hanukkah provides us with an important test case. When learning about Judah Maccabee in Hebrew school, I was taught about a strong and brave leader who fought for the right to practice Judaism freely. However, I was not taught about the darker side of the Maccabees and the Hasmonean dynasty they established, which… Read Article →

Teen Voices Dan Brosgol

Online Learning For Jewish Teens: You Bet It Works

This piece first appeared in the December 8, 2015 issue of E-Jewish Philanthropy. Jewish teens love to be online. And they also love to be at camp. Take our word for it – we see well over a thousand of them every year in the various programs that our two organizations, Prozdor of Hebrew College and the Eli and Bessie Cohen Camps, operate. When the two of us got together in the fall… Read Article →

Community Blog breakingmatzo-logo

A Hanukkah Passion Project

In the spring of 2015, Andy Goldfarb, a local venture capitalist and entrepreneur, launched a new social media site called Breaking Matzo. Goldfarb, an avid Jewish learner, undertook this passion project as a way to share his love for Judaism and family holiday rituals with a broad audience. In August 2015, he began studying with Rabbi Or Rose, Director of the Center for Global Judaism, as Goldfarb was developing the Hanukkah version… Read Article →

Community Blog umbrella

Our Coordinator Gets Philosophical One Rainy Night

It was a dark and rainy night, the type of evening that makes you yearn for snuggly blankets and hot chocolate by a fireplace.  Yet here I was, avoiding puddles and shielding a heavy box of parent binders from the raindrops. I had a destination – the library of a local congregation for a Parenting Through a Jewish Lens class. I made my way through the twisty halls and introduced myself… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

No Guarantees for the Righteous

Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 32:3-36:43 The Torah is famously laconic about the emotional lives of its central characters. We are left to imagine what Abraham was feeling as he walked up Mount Moriah with his son Isaac at his side, or what Rachel felt when she discovered that her older sister Leah had laid with Jacob in the marital bed intended for her. It is all the more striking, then, that… Read Article →