King Helped Cause A Jewish Spiritual Rebirth

For the Jewish community, the iconic image of our relationship to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the photograph of Dr. King marching from Selma to Montgomery on March 21, 1965, arm in arm with a man the children thought looked like Santa Claus, the pre-eminent Jewish theologian, Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel. About that day… Read More

Lost In Translation

When I was growing up in Baltimore, the modern State of Israel was the center of the Jewish universe. It was at the core of being Jewish, tucked inside the greater American Jewish identity. There were no contradictions. Jews were solid U.S. citizens, equally proud of their American heritage. But the brutal sting of the… Read More

Like A Community

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Last Thursday was the orientation barbecue at Johns Hopkins Hillel. Each year, this is an event everyone anticipates with excitement. The freshmen move in, and at the BBQ, they are still in shock about leaving home for the first time. The sophomores are excited to begin the year savvier than they were the year before…. Read More

House-Proofing Against Falls

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Jewish Holiday celebrations offer us the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones. For many, this means opening our homes to family members, many of whom are older. One false step down a staircase or in the shower has the potential to change the life of an elderly person forever. Falls are the leading cause of… Read More

Is Jewish Education Jewish?

When I enrolled my first child in Jewish day school almost 20 years ago, I was enthralled with the prospect that he would be educated “Jewishly.” I imagined that the wisdom of the Torah would illuminate his mind through a Judaic curriculum of Jewish history and Torah subjects. I believed that Jewish schools would reflect… Read More

What’s Your New Year’s Eco-Footprint?

Shifting gears out of summer mode is extra challenging this year due to the early arrival of the High Holy Days. As such, many of us will be looking for shortcuts to ease the scheduling mayhem.  But these shortcuts don’t need to come at the expense of our pocketbooks or the environment. Making mindful choices… Read More

Do Not Sit In Judgment

In just a few days, voters in New York City will decide a primary election for the positions of comptroller and mayor. Prominent Jewish candidates are running for both offices, but they are not the sort of Jewish candidates most of us in the Jewishcommunity would wish were running for public office. Each has won… Read More

Jewish Unity

A few weekends ago, I spent Shabbat in Israel with Jewish college students from Germany, France, Canada and throughout the Former Soviet Union. The shabbaton began with a gripping speech by Natan Sharansky, president of the Jewish Agency for Israel. While the weekend yielded fascinating conversations, two moments are stitched in my mind. During Shabbos… Read More

Tikkun Olam: What Does It Really Mean For Us

The Jewish people have an important mission. For centuries, Jewish civilization has rev-olved around the concept of social responsibility. We are taught that our soul’s mission is to be a light unto the nations, and as Jews we feel an inst-inctive push to make a difference in the world and glorify God’s name. But how… Read More

The Rhythm Of Our Tradition

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I ushered in Elul 5772/2011 at the farm at the Pearlstone Center.  I had come to appreciate the rhythm of the Hebrew calendar during the two summers I lived there more than any other time during my life.  As I left, I thought about ways to keep myself connected to the themes and ideas that… Read More