WRJ's Blog

Every 98 seconds, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. The U.S. Department of Justice, defines sexual assault as “sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.” This can include attempted rape, forced penetration (rape), unwanted sexual touching, and forcing the victim to perform sexual acts, among other forms. Nine out of ten victims of rape are female. This staggering...

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I attended an event held at the UN on March 15, 2017 entitled, “A Year of Focused Actions to Combat Violence Against Women and Girls.” The sponsoring party was the European Union. This was held on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which was the 25th of November, 2016. The stakes are high: one in three women will face sexual abuse or harassment in her life. 76% of people arrested in sex trafficking cases are women and girls. In women aged 15-44, gender-based violence accounts for the same percentage of women who will be affected by cancer...

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This week we double our learning with parashiot: Vayak’heil (Exodus 35:1-38:20) and P’kudei (Exodus 38:21- 40:38). Together they describe (in minute detail) the building of the Tent, the Tabernacle, and the Courtyard - from the initial plans through the “grand opening.” It was an awesome undertaking, from measuring various woods to creating exquisite fabrics, bringing gems and personal skills - true contributions of “time, talent and resources”.

It is amazing to envision how our worship spaces have remained similar yet adjusted to time and place. At the recent WRJ Fried Leadership...

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Trans flag blowing in the wind against a blue sky

“I am just a human. I am just a boy,” he said. “Please consider my rights when you make your decision.” These are the words of Gavin Grimm, a transgender high school student whose quest to use the restroom took the shy Virginia native all the way to the Supreme Court.

Throughout the past several weeks, there have been a series of setbacks for the...

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This week’s Torah portion, Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35) follows the previous one that describes the building and furnishing of the Tabernacle, the sanctification of the priests and the sanctification of the Tent of Meeting. In Ki Tisa there are what appears to be unrelated scenes that in the “The Torah: A Women’s Commentary” are grouped under three titles: Tabernacle, Covenant and Moses. Each of these will move the action toward the resolution of Israel’s relationship with God. Eventually the people will understand how to sustain this relationship. These verses also include the completion...

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