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
Me’ah is a simple Hebrew word meaning “one hundred.” It’s also the name of a program at Hebrew College, an intensive Jewish educational experience designed for busy adult learners of all backgrounds. After graduating from the Me’ah program, I am very excited and optimistic about the future of Judaism. Though Me’ah graduation represents 100 hours of learning, the Me’ah experience represented much more than that for each of us who participated. Like much of Judaism, my Me’ah experience was not an individual journey, but a communal one.
Each of us has our own experience and made the...Read More
Working with teens is a highlight of my work as a Jewish educator. This year, our confirmation class served as a powerful example of our community’s commitment to inclusion. Of the 16 students, three are on the autism spectrum, one has severe dyslexia, one has auditory processing issues, and one is blind. Over the course of the year, they grew in their ability to understand and respect one another and became a genuine source of pride for me, for the rabbi who teaches confirmation, and for our community at large.
Here is an excerpt of the words that I shared with them during their...Read More
I was not at my son's official wedding. Ariel and his wife got married in Cyprus. They made this choice not because of the country's wonderful sights and romantic scenery, but because they wanted to be able to marry outside of the framework of Israel's ultra-Orthodox Chief Rabbinate.
The Chief Rabbinate holds a monopoly on all Jewish marriages in Israel. There is no civil marriage, which leaves an Orthodox marriage as the only option for Jewish couples in Israel. This means that the ceremony is often performed by a rabbi who does not know the couple personally. It means stringent...Read More
June is coming, which means LGBT Pride Month is just around the corner! Throughout the month of June, we celebrate the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community throughout the nation. LGBT Pride Month was originally established to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, a major turning point in the fight for LGBT rights and equality in the United States. Today, major cities throughout the nation celebrate LGBT pride through parades, parties, concerts and festivals. These events attract millions of participants and honor the history and victories of the LGBT community locally,...Read More
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