Shabbat

Shabbat

When I was an assistant rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield, N.J., I celebrated with the early childhood program at their weekly Shabbat party. A few parents would join their children for the festivities, and they were invited to stay behind for a few moments with the rabbi.

The parents and students gathered with me in the front of the chapel, by the Aron Kodesh, the ark that houses the Torah scrolls. Then came my favorite part of the morning: when I instructed the parents to hold their children close, maybe even place a hand on their children’s head or shoulders. I explained...

Read More

I am about to become an empty nester. Years ago, when the kids first started going to camp, my husband and I used to call ourselves “ENITs,” Empty Nesters in Training. Although this long-anticipated event was delayed by my husband’s cancer and too-early death, my days as an ENIT are just about over. Having finally found their wings nearly six years after our loss, my kids are on their way, and I have been thinking about what my life will look like in their absence.

How many people do you know who, when asked about their sukkah, say, “Oh, we stopped putting it up when the kids went...

Read More

Shabbat is an island in time. It is a chance to pause, reflect, and differentiate between the holy and the mundane. And although it exists in every city, in every country, every week, something special happens on Shabbat in Israel.

Friday afternoons in Jerusalem are an experience in and of themselves: the hustle and bustle of a city preparing to shut down for 24 hours. The rush of people at the shuk, the cooking and cleaning, the dinner planning, the frantic pace right up until the sounding of the siren, signaling that Shabbat has begun.

And then the peace and quiet sets in...

Read More

On Wednesday, July 2nd, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark legislation that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The Reform Jewish community played an instrumental role in the civil rights movement including helping to draft (in the conference room of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism) both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which will also turn 50 next year. Check out this great JTA story about Reform rabbis’ activism in St. Augustine and...

Read More

At a good hour. At the right time. B’sha’ah tovah. That is the traditional Jewish response to learning about a pregnancy. Generally, in the United States, we say “Congratulations," "mazel tov," or "wonderful,” but Judaism says, “At a good hour."

I have been thinking about that phrase recently. Why? It's not because I am pregnant. Been there, done that. However, that was before I understood the ways in which Judaism could frame life, that was before I was familiar with the phrase “B’sha’ah tovah." To be honest, I can’t quite remember the role that Judaism played in my life in my...

Read More

Blogroll

About Inside Leadership

Inside Leadership, the blog at URJ.org, is a source for Reform Jewish leaders to get the latest news and though-provoking articles about Jewish communal life.