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BY Rabbi David Wirtschafter 8/26/2016

Say this prayer during Shabbat, learn how you can assist those impacted by the Louisiana flooding, and read more about how the Reform Jewish community is helping.

BY Abigail Fisher 8/26/2016

Nearly 40 years ago, I stood on the bimah as a bat mitzvah, the first young woman in my family to celebrate my Jewish coming of age. Its significance was totally lost on me, however. Having been raised to believe that both boys and girls could pretty much do anything they wanted, what was the...

BY Jonah Wiener-Brodkey 8/25/2016

Together, my travel group and I visited Greenwood, MS, where the community at Ahavath Rayim, formerly an Orthodox synagogue, hosted us for Shabbat services...

BY Cantor Rosalie Boxt 8/25/2016

The daily mincha/ma’ariv service at CIP was being led by the congregation’s cantor, Alexandre Edelstein, who also was my host and colleague during my four-day visit in June to Brazil as part of LaShir B’Nefesh, a program that brings together soloists, musicians, and cantors of Brazilian, and...

A Prayer for the People of Louisiana BY Rabbi David Wirtschafter
What Will It Take for the World to Offer Women Full Equality? BY Abigail Fisher
What Jewish Life in the South Taught Me about Judaism as a Whole BY Jonah Wiener-Brodkey
How to Craft a New Worship Style in Brazil BY Cantor Rosalie Boxt

God of Caring and Compassion

We pray that people of Louisiana, who again are coping with the damage and disruption of terrible flooding, may find the strength and persistence they need to cope for yet another crisis.

We pray that students and teachers can return to school, that citizens can return to work, that life can start returning to normal.

We pray that the response from state and federal agencies will be swift, generous and comprehensive.

We pray that assistance will be offered to everyone who has been impacted by this latest disaster, regardless of...

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    Give thanks to your God When you have eaten your fill Birkat Hamazon       Deuteronomy 8:10 When you have eaten your fill, give thanks to Adonai your God for the good land which has been given you.     In Eikev we are commanded to give thanks for God's bounty. This verse is part of Birkat Hamazon, our grace after meals.   Earlier this year, writing on ReformJudaism.org, Rabbi David Vaisberg... Read More

Nearly 40 years ago, I stood on the bimah as a bat mitzvah, the first young woman in my family to celebrate my Jewish coming of age. Its significance was totally lost on me, however. Having been raised to believe that both boys and girls could pretty much do anything they wanted, what was the big deal, I wondered.

Although Sally Priesand had been ordained in 1972, five years before my bat mitzvah, I had never seen a female rabbi, but it never crossed my mind that they were rare. After all, my congregation only had one rabbi, and he happened to be male. So what?

I had read...

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The 23 Jewish teens on our Mitzvah Corps Civil Rights Journey trip came from diverse locations. I came from California, but my peers came from Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, among others. Though we are divided in our experiences unique to our hometowns, there are at least two things we all have in common: We’re Jewish, and we’ve never experienced anything quite like the Deep South. Because of these similarities, our differences seem largely insignificant. Vibrant Jewish life exists in the south, of...

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The familiar refrain of the Hashkiveinu prayer, with music composed by Craig Taubman, surprised me, coming as it did in the midst of the traditional mincha/ma’ariv (afternoon/evening) service at Congregacao Israelita Paulista (CIP) – called “Tzipi” by the locals – in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Hashkiveinu, Adonai Eloheinu, l’shalom… Grant, O God, that we lie down in peace…

Only after more chanting did we sing the rest of the melody:

Ushmor tzeiteinu uvo-einu… Guard our going and our return…

The daily...

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