Get Your Water Bucket Ready! Reimagining Shavuot in 2020

Any ordinary year, a Shavuot celebration—the holiday that began as an agricultural festival and later evolved to honor the giving of the Torah to Moses at Mt. Sinai—might have looked like this: reading the Book of Ruth, staying up all night studying the Torah, and eating cheesecake and other dairy foods. But 2020 is far from ordinary. In this year of a worldwide pandemic and stay at home orders that are just now s...

Read More

VIDEO: The Power of Inclusion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2a0zof_BmI&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1YTUxLnZKkHcGwSjev2SMtZdRr-14kDovq5JzzkhFjAnvUY-GZZ9qvb1w There are disabilities you can't help but see...and there are disabilities you absolutely don't see. The great miracle of God is that God creates every human being from the same mold, and yet each person somehow is unique. What is most crucial is that we recognize e...

Read More

When Fasting Is Just Not Feasible on Yom Kippur

One woman can’t do it because she is breastfeeding her newborn. A man can’t do it because he is diabetic. And another can’t do it because he is on daily medication that must be taken with food and water. There are so many reasons why fasting—a way in which we practice self-denial—is just not feasible on Yom Kippur. Still, Jews can observe the holiday in ways that are personally meaningful. Putting your health first is a ...

Read More

Hillel, Hebrew Classes and Strong Jewish Communities Make These Two Students’ College Decision Easy

Academic reputation, cost and graduation rate are often thought of as the biggest factors students consider when selecting a college to attend. But for incoming freshmen David Glickman, Evan Koss and many other Jewish students around the country, there’s another important dynamic that goes into their college selection. David Glickman will be attending Cornell University, in large part because of the school’s strong Je...

Read More

In Social Media Age, Young Adults Unplug and Connect During Shabbat

Preparing for a wonderful Shabbat Most of us see it every time we go out to eat: young adults and families—sometimes even our own—staring at their phones around the table instead of engaging in meaningful conversation. With research linking depression, anxiety and loneliness to heavy social media and internet use among millennials and younger generations, more young Jews are seeing the importance of unplugging and con...

Read More
Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem

Not Born Into the Tribe: The Power of Judaism Makes Converts Out of Three Now Clergy

Thousands of years after Ruth—the “mother of all converts”—told her mother-in-law Naomi in the Book of Ruth, “Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people will be my people and your God will be my God,” large numbers of non-Jews from around the U.S. have been embracing Judaism as their religion of choice—in fact, current estimates show 1 in 6 American Jews are converts. While it’s one thin...

Read More

California Fires Are Latest in Series of Tragedies to Unite Jewish Community

The Camp, Woolsey and Hill fires that raged through California in early November are the latest in a series of events that the local and national Jewish communities have faced. A little more than a week after the tragic Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, shooting at Tree of Life synagogue and less than 24 hours after the mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California—a place where many families and friend...

Read More

USCJ Leaders and Others Experience Life at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Time and time again throughout history, our Jewish ancestors have been forced to flee their homes in an attempt to live better and safer lives. And whether through the national news, social media or the local newspaper, almost all of us are aware of the current crisis at the U.S.–Mexico border, eerily echoing what the Jewish people have experienced for thousands of years. At the end of August, Jewish leaders and repres...

Read More