The State of Israel’s Economies

After a terrifying summer of constant rocket fire into Israel from Gaza, this is an appropriate time to think not only about Israel’s geopolitical future (which is beyond this writer’s crystal ball), but also about Israel’s economies. I purposely use the plural because Israel’s economy is fractured along many fault lines. There’s the famous Startup… Read More

Taking Control, One Step at a Time

Imagine you must leave your home and fear for your life. You are thrust into living in a 10-foot-by-10-foot room shared with three strangers. How would you manage your space and possessions? I was recently asked to consider lending my expertise as a professional organizer specializing in closet design to improve the closet system at… Read More

A Tradition of Giving

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This summer, Jews around the world followed the fighting in Israel closely and sought every opportunity they could to help those in Israel whose daily lives were turned upside down by a constant barrage of rockets. At the same time, we watched in horror, as Jews in cities around the globe found themselves facing a… Read More

Limmud Means Learning

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve been hooked on learning, especially Jewish learning. My first stumbling steps toward reading Hebrew led to a fascination with our people’s living ancient/modern language. Fortunately, my parents supported my desire to go to Camp Ramah, which in the 1950s immersed youth in eight weeks of Hebrew as… Read More

Fueling Our Future or Our Destruction?

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Despite outlining my topics for this column months ago, the events this summer in Israel have lead me to change course and address a critical issue that, although related to environmental sustainability and our use (or misuse) of natural resources, more closely aligns with our sustainability as a people. For weeks I’ve been sifting through… Read More

Time to Make My Feelings Known

To my Facebook friends, I apologize. If you knew me before the latest war between Israel and Hamas you would know I was a good Facebook friend, sitting politely and quietly in a corner of your social media cerebral cortex, generally speaking only when spoken to or when something more interesting or important than what… Read More

The Moral Psychosis of Demonstrating in Support of Hamas

As an example of what the insight-ful commentator Melanie Phillips referred to as a “dialogue of the demented” in her book, “The World Turned Upside Down,” since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge some four weeks ago, the streets of American and European cities have been crammed with activists intent on expressing their collective indignation for… Read More

The Joy of Becoming a Rabbi

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In a time and place when many in my generation perceive religion and politics as one in the same and often opt out of formal community involvement rather than opt in, why would anyone want to become a rabbi? After all, on Sept. 11, 2001, as I began my final year of undergraduate studies at… Read More

Step Forward: Your Help Is Needed

It is a great honor to become Federation president. As I told my daughter, it was a hard-fought campaign with no opponents!  My plan is to continue the efforts of Rob Cahn, my immediate predecessor, to make the Federation into a modern nonprofit organization able to sustain itself and its programs through the contributions made… Read More

There’s a Word for That

We recently read a funny article in Business Insider —  “14 Untranslatable Foreign Words We Should Use in English.” These are words with no corollary in English. Yiddish is filled with untranslatable words, too — words such as mishpachah, which means the whole family, the whole clan; it includes relatives by blood and marriage and… Read More