I know from conversations I have had with Israelis, they find it difficult, if not impossible, to understand how Jews can feel so at home, so safe, so self-assured in the United States. For so many of our co-religionists—those who were forced to flee from oppressive regimes in the former Soviet Union, or Ethiopia, or those whose parents and grandparents fled from or grew up in the ashes of state-sanctioned hatred—they cannot possibly understand how we can live so calmly and unafraid in this nation. They can’t quite understand what it means to be an American and a Jew.
At the same...Read More
Iris and Anna, citizens of Russia, met in 2006 and fell in love. Because same-sex marriage is not an option in Russia, they tied the knot in Denmark in 2013 when it became legal for non-citizens to marry there. With one dream accomplished, Iris felt ready to fulfill her calling to live as a Jew in Israel. Anna, who is not Jewish, agreed, and the couple decided to make aliyah (move to Israel) in 2015.
In 2014, the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) ...Read More
“I have a son with special needs. I would love to feel like there might be a place for him at Camp Harlam.” The words stood out to me on the page as if they were wrapped in neon lights.
The professional staff of URJ Camp Harlam was reviewing the results of the parents’ end-of-summer survey. Amongst hundreds of comments on the page, this one resonated deeply for me. As the camp’s inclusion coordinator, it is my job – and my privilege – to work with campers with disabilities, giving them the support and accommodations necessary to be successful at...Read More
Kol Nidre worship Includes several verses From this week's portion The evening worship service for Yom Kippur is called Kol Nidre, named for the well known prayer with which the service begins. After the Kol Nidre prayer is chanted, the following verses from this week's Torah portion are recited: Numbers 14:19-20 "Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to Your great kindness, as You have forgiven this people ever since Egypt." And Adonai said, "I pardon, as you have asked... Read More
Captain Michel Bacos and the crew of their hijacked Air France Airbus refused to abandon the 94 Israeli and Jewish passengers who had been selected as hostages by the team of Palestinian and German terrorists who forced the plane to land at Uganda’s Entebbe Airport on June 27, 1976.
The captain, having fought with de Gaulle’s Free French forces during World War II, saw a parallel between how Jews were being treated at Entebbe and how they had been treated at Auschwitz. “I knew precisely what fascism was all about,” he told Jeremy Josephs in a 2012 interview with The Jewish...Read More