by Emeri S. Handler As a parent, I value giving my teenage daughters autonomy over their down time. I believe that they need space to relax, reflect, and develop interests outside of school that will help them grow as individuals. My children attend a Jewish day school; one that is rich with profound Jewish experiences that enhance their lives and help them solidify their Jewish identities. So what is the balance between giving them individual … [Read more...] about When Do We Force Our Teens To Partake In Jewish Life?
by David Steiner “When a truth is not given complete freedom, freedom is not complete.” Vaclav Havel My favorite non-fiction is a collection of essays by the belated former president of Czechoslovakia, the playwright, Vaclav Havel. It’s called Living in Truth, and it is about the complexities of truth in a world of nations, countries, “isms” and religions. Jews have an abridged version of Living in Truth in the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate … [Read more...] about Fixing the Seder
Children and youth in the U.S. have already internalized inclusion. They live it every day at school, on the playground, at youth groups. To them, inclusion is the norm. This is mainly because the national culture in the U.S. has surpassed the American Jewish community in its embrace of inclusion. by Jay Ruderman The late nights in the bunks with friends, swimming in the lake, color war breakout that always came as a surprise and the ‘bug … [Read more...] about Memories For Everyone
by Irina Nevzlin Kogan and David Chivo More than any other Jewish holiday, Passover brings out both the “priests” and “prophets” in our communities. How they will spend their time over the next several weeks is emblematic of the state of our communities and highlights what needs to be undertaken to engage a larger segment of the Jewish people. First we have our Passover priests. Many will spend countless hours purifying their homes; others … [Read more...] about Of Priests and Prophets: the Passover Message of Jewish Peoplehood
by Anabelle Harari After a whirlwind year of graduating from Mount Holyoke, volunteering for four months in Nepal, and traveling for a few months in India, I landed somewhere I never thought I would be - Jewish summer camp. I grew up going to day camp at the JCC in Northeast Philadelphia, but spending eight weeks in the woodlands of Ontario with some 500 Jewish was certainly foreign to me. … [Read more...] about The Power of Gardens at Jewish Summer Camp