WRJ's Blog

Every year at Passover I've said "next year in Jerusalem." Of course there was that year I lived in Alaska and said "next year in Maui" but that's another story... This year, 2017, is my year in Jerusalem and also my 70th birthday!

We came out of the tunnel into the light and then there it was in front of me: Jerusalem in all her glory waiting for me to learn, explore, and experience. In 2010, Elie Wiesel wrote an open letter to Barack Obama. "When a Jew visits Jerusalem for the first time, it is not the first time. It is a homecoming." I am blessed to be home. Thank you to the...

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In this week’s Torah portion, B’midbar, while in the Sinai Desert Moses is told to count all of the congregation of the children of Israel. In other words, take a census; however, he is only told to count the head of every male. This makes me wonder, why weren’t the women counted as well? We all know they were there.

After thinking about the census further, I started thinking about our congregations. I started to wonder where most of our congregations would be without WRJ and the women of sisterhood?

My family moved from a highly Jewish populated suburb of Chicago to...

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On June 2, National Gun Violence Awareness Day, people around the country will Wear Orange to bring attention to the epidemic of gun violence that kills 90 Americans each day. One of those lives lost was Hadiya Pendleton. On January 21, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton – a majorette and high school student from the South Side of Chicago – marched in President Obama’s Second Inaugural Parade.  One week later, after finishing final exams, Hadiya was shot and killed in a park near her school, at the age of 15. In the wake of this tragedy, her friends and family...

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On Wednesday, May 24, 2017 I visited Bental Mountain Observatory for the fourth time. Each time I visit I am in awe of how Israel has yet persisted to survive throughout the years. Lebanon and Syria are a stones throw away and the borders are watched by a few observers stationed at the observatory.

We heard a very educational lecture, "The Balance of Power on Israel's Northern Border," a field seminar and dialogue with Lieutenant Colonel (Reserve) Sarit Zehavi, a Senior Intelligence Officer and subject matter expert on the Israeli Northern Border.

After the lecture we had...

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When we first got involved with WRJ, we learned the basics of the YES Fund. We learned about money given to HUC-JIR, scholarships for Rabbinic and Cantorial Students, money for NFTY and the RAC. Sometime later, buried in the “Special Project” section, was money given to the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) for the Bat Mitzvah program. We had no real idea what that program was.   WRJ partners with the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism to sponsor the Mother-Daughter Bat Mitzvah Program. Most girls in Israel do not become Bat Mitzvah. They often have big parties (sound...

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