WRJ's Blog

Person at a seder table reading haggadah; glass of wine in foreground

During Passover, Jews across the world celebrate and commemorate our ancestors’ historic journey from bondage to freedom. We retell the story of Exodus at seders, a ritual that calls us to consider our history in a tangible, physical sense, bringing the Biblical tale of the struggle for liberation into the present day. 

“Standing on the parted shores, we still believe what we were taught before ever we stood at Sinai’s foot; that wherever we go, it is eternally Egypt; that there is a better place, a promised land; that the winding way to that promise passes through the wilderness. That...

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Parashat Vayikra, which in Hebrew means “and [God] called,” from the third book of the Torah, Leviticus, begins with obligations given to Moses by [God]: “The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting saying: Speak to the Israelite people…” (Leviticus 1:1).

The parashah continues with a description of the different kinds of living animal sacrifices. Sacrificial animals include small animals with feathers and large animals with horns. Moses was instructed that these animals were to be offered in the sanctuary by individuals or by the community. God then explains...

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On Monday, February 26, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Many are deeming Janus to be the most important labor case in recent memory. Why is it so significant?

Background: Abood v. Detroit Board of Education The decision in Janus could change the way that unions work, and specifically how they collect money from the employees they represent. The...

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Vayak’hel/Pekudei concludes the book of Exodus, solidifying the freed Israelites into a people through the establishing of Shabbat (holy time) and the building of the Mishkan (holy space). The detail with which the text describes the artistic design and execution of the Mishkan creates a vibrant image of the holy space for our community in their transition from slavery to freedom. There is much to grab our attention in this parshah, from the community’s donations towards building the Mishkan to the detailed depiction of Betzalel and Oholiab’s work. In the midst of the lengthy description...

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After 125 years, the sisterhood in Congregation Shaarai Shomayim in Lancaster, Pennsylvania underwent a renaming to become Women of Shaarai Shomayim (WSS) in attempts to reflect its growth and restructure over the years.

Once this change was announced, 9-year-old Mila Wachstein was walking with her “bubbio,” Rosanne Selfon, past president of WRJ, and she posed the question, “Why isn’t there a GSS or Girls of Shaarai Shomayim?”

“I feel like a lot of girls in third to sixth grade don’t really get the opportunity to talk a lot,” Mila said.

The goals of this group,...

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