Purim and Passover’s Heroines Still Inspire

One of the greatest Jewish women in modern history, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, co-wrote a reflection with Rabbi Lauren Holzblatt of Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C. a few years back. It was about the heroic and visionary women of Passover and how their stories still inspire. “Retelling the heroic stories of Yocheved, Shifra, Puah, Miriam, and Batya reminds our daughters that with vision a...

Read More

Questions Energize Our Pursuit of Truth

By Rabbi Perry Raphael Rank Rabbi Perry Raphael Rank is Senior Rabbi at Midway Jewish Center in Syosset, New York Way back when you were sitting in some Hebrew School classroom, one of your teachers may have told you that God wrote the Torah. Or alternatively, the teacher may have claimed that God dictated the Torah to Moses, who then wrote it down himself. You may or may not have questioned that tidbit of knowledg...

Read More

Obama Speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz on Her Jewish Journey of Rediscovery

Sarah Hurwitz’s book "Here All Along" chronicles her journey of reconnecting with Judaism. When author and former White House speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz was growing up, she did what many Jewish children do—went to services at her local synagogue twice a year, enjoyed seders with family and friends, and attended Hebrew school as she worked her way to the big day: her Bat Mitzvah. But when the day finally came and went,...

Read More

How My Mother’s Illness Led to My Inclusion Journey

By Zelene Lovitt Zelene Lovitt When my mother was 9 years old, she contracted polio. That may be a benign sentence to read in 2019, but it was earth shattering at the time. Not only did polio impact her life, but it had a ripple effect on my own. Polio eventually brought me into the world of inclusion and ultimately gave me a mission to help people with physical, mental and emotional difficulties. A spinal tap g...

Read More

Can Conservative Judaism Exist on College Campuses?

By Jared Rogers Upon arriving at the University of Pennsylvania, I was terrified of not finding authentic communities to call my own. Before college, I lived and breathed Conservative Judaism; I was a student at Schechter Long Island, a counselor at Ramah Nyack and an officer on USY’s International Executive Board. Unsurprisingly, I fell in love with the Conservative Jewish Community (CJC) at Penn. CJC provided me...

Read More

Shavuot—The Taste of Torah

By Rabbi Deborah Silver, Shir Chadash, New Orleans, Louisiana When we consider the centrality of Torah to our tradition—whether in the sense of the scroll in the Ark or our expanded use of the term to embrace the Tanakh and all of the literature of the teachers who came before us—it is interesting to consider the way we memorialize in community the time that Torah was given to us. In contrast to the Seder and the me...

Read More

Co-Founder of JewBelong Says, “Come on in, the Water’s Fine!”

Archie Gottesman can relate when people talk about feeling like Jewish outsiders—intimidated by rituals and traditions and not knowing where to begin—because she was often in these same shoes before she did something inventive about it and co-founded JewBelong.com with Stacy Stuart. Here, Archie talks about everything from a major moment of “JewBarrassment” to what people are missing out on if they let their feelings keep...

Read More

Rethinking “Sleep Is For the Weak”

By Ilan Rotberg, president of New England Region USY Any young person knows that older people love to reminisce. Whether it’s in real life or in a hypothetical cliché, I’ve always heard people use the phrase “back in my day,” only to be followed by a nostalgic recollection of a time where kids didn’t have their faces glued to a screen 24 hours per day, seven days per week. For me, these remarks always managed to trigge...

Read More