I grew up in a family without any serious religious affiliation. We were Christian only in the most secular sense, and never attended church. Only one African-American family lived in our predominantly white community in Maine, and no Jews. I don’t remember ever hearing an anti-Jewish slur. In fact, Judaism was so foreign to me that it barely graced my radar.
Flash forward to my early 30s. As I discussed my interest in converting to Judaism with my wife, the granddaughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, she looked me in the eye and said, “Yes, there are many wonderful things about...Read More
As a recent college graduate watching many of my friends head back to school, I’ve been reminiscing about all my incredible experiences at the University of Kansas.
My four years as a student were transformative beyond any of my expectations: I forged lasting friendships, explored my Judaism to new depths, and had time and space to truly get to know myself. From big Hillel events and working at the Reform Jewish summer camp, to staffing youth group events and learning how to make my own...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More