Each June, we observe Pride Month and take time to celebrate the many important victories won for LGBTQ people in the United States. We also reflect on the long road to winning those battles, and the ongoing fights for nationwide employment protection, discrimination protection in public accommodations, and full equality for transgender people.
However, as we strive for the more complete inclusion of LGBTQ people in American society, we must also remember equality for all is not limited by borders. Like the United States, other countries...Read More
In the Torah Portion Sh’lach L’cha, Moses sends twelve scouts to assess and report on the land of Canaan, the land that God has promised. The scouts return with a mixed report on the land and the people. In Numbers 13: 32-33, ten scouts report “All of the people that we saw in it are of great size…and we looked like grasshoppers to ourselves, and so we must have looked to them.” (The Torah A Women’s Commentary, p. 875). In contrast Joshua and Caleb report of the wealth and surety of Adonai’s promise of protection and blessing. Again, the Israelites turn away from God in rebellion.
B'haalot'cha, when you go up, which is this week's Torah parashah, has special significance for my family. My father-in-law, Daniel (z'l) and my beloved husband, David (z'l) both read this portion for their b’nei mitzvah. This was not a coincidence. However, several decades later, my daughter, Ilana, read the same parashah for her bat mitzvah. Why is this special? First, because we did not know that Daniel and David had read the same parashah. Second, because Ilana chose this parashah out of six others choices for her bat mitzvah date. And lastly, because David...Read More
As we are approaching the conclusion of our 2017 Women's Journey to Israel, we are all asking one another 'what was your 'wow' moment of the trip? That's always a risk, as each day brought new 'wow' moments to add to the list and some of us still have several days to go. For some it was the first day, as we sat in Independence Hall in the very place where Israel was declared a state. For many it was the inspirational Rosh Chodesh worship with Women of the Wall (WOW), and the beauty of being together in prayer, despite the distraction of those heckling and attempting to disrupt our prayers...Read More
As supporters of the YES Fund, it was wonderful to get to see first-hand just how WRJ changes lives through its philanthropic efforts. The WRJ Women’s Journey to Israel gave each of us a great opportunity to see our work in action. We began by meeting with several female Rabbis who have benefited from YES Fund Grants while attending Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem. With our help, these amazing women are having an impact on Progressive Judaism through their work with conversion programs, bar/bat mitzvah programs and interfaith dialogues.
We were...Read More