"Knock, knock." "Who's there?" "Russia." "Russia who?" "Russia Shana."
My mother's curse came true: I have children "just like me."
With imported parents and imported children, I'm the native-born pastrami between two slices of naturalized rye. My parents were born Jewish in Germany; my Asian-born kids converted. Not that they had a choice, of course; their dad and I took them to the mikvah (Jewish ritual bath) well before they hit the age of reason. Our son's...Read More
Almost as soon as the Central Conference of American Rabbis' conference began in June of 1964, the presiding rabbi stepped forward with an urgent telegram from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. King needed rabbis to take part in demonstrations against the segregated city of St. Augustine, FL, and he needed them immediately. The next morning, 16 rabbis and Al Vorspan, then-leader of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, were at the airport, answering King’s call.
In St. Augustine, these 17...Read More
The number of months, with God, is 12 in the Book of God, the day that He created the heavens and the earth… The month postponed is an increase of unbelief whereby the unbelievers go astray; one year they make it profane, and hallow it another…
The media were ready for blood during the days leading up to Yom Kippur this year, as the holiday fell on the first day of the Muslim festival of Eid el-Adha. Given the fraught atmosphere between Jews and Arabs that was created during...Read More
It’s not often I can draw from a Saturday Night Live skit to help teach my students a lesson at Atlanta’s Davis Academy, where I am an educator. This past summer at URJ Camp Coleman, one of my colleagues constantly quoted and imitated Kristin Wiig’s “Target Lady” character’s skits, proclaiming in her histrionic, high-pitched voice, “Stereotype busted!” Although this pop culture reference may have gone over the heads of most of my 7th grade students, the use of the phrase prompted a flood of responses to this question: “Where do...Read More
Last Friday, Women of the Wall outsmarted the Western Wall's gatekeepers when we managed to bring in a tiny Torah scroll to celebrate the first bat mitzvah at the Kotel in modern Jewish history. This operation came in the wake of a Women of the Wall campaign featured on buses in Jerusalem, encouraging girls in Israel to have a bat mitzvah ceremony at the Western Wall.
Buses featuring the ads had their tires slashed and more than half of the signs were vandalized. Yet 100...Read More
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