by Jakir Manela I hated Hebrew School. Organized Jewish life was irrelevant to me growing up; after my Bar Mitzvah I considered myself free from synagogue beyond the annual Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur torture. As the grandson of survivors, my family was strong in our Jewish identity; I just had no interest in affiliation. No Jewish camp, youth group, or confirmation. But then I went to Israel, and those four weeks changed my life. I felt … [Read more...] about A JOFEE Journey
How will we once again learn to engage Jewish boys in Jewish life without alienating Jewish girls in the process? by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz I am a proud feminist. I have argued adamantly for increasing funding for girls in education around the world, against wage inequality, against domestic violence, for women’s social entrepreneurship in developing countries, against the problem of agunot, among other subjects. I also work to engage … [Read more...] about From Feminism to Masculinism?
by Rabbi Loren Sykes Recently, I called for the creation of more post-Taglit alternative winter break programs in Israel focusing on Jewish content for college students Israel. This past January, the Conservative Yeshiva launched just such a program. During “Ta’amu u’R’u,” or “Taste & See,” twenty North American college students of diverse backgrounds and skill levels enjoyed twelve days of immersive Jewish learning on topics speaking … [Read more...] about College Students and Content: Bringing Meaning to Alternative Winter Break Programs
by Josh Rolnick We are living in an era of unprecedented change that is empowering individuals and radically resculpting the media landscape. The market is forcing newspapers, magazines and other traditional publications to embrace radical changes to remain viable. At Sh'ma, an independent Jewish journal with a 44-year history, we're thinking in bold terms about how Jewish ideas can enrich readers’ lives in this connected era. For decades, … [Read more...] about Updating a Deep Dive
Why is leadership so often wrong? Because sometimes by choice and sometimes by necessity, leaders listen to a few, very loud voices. by Sacha Litman Faith-based communities’ ability to lift their congregations to holiness, as well as draw and retain members, depends on the degree to which the congregation resonates with the ideas and direction of the leadership. … [Read more...] about Why Should We Listen to the Voice of the People in our Faith-Based Institutions?