People of Faith Say: Abortion is Essential!”

Lillie Heyman
Shoshana Dweck
December 13, 2021

Bright and early on the sunny Wednesday morning of December 1st, members of the faith community joined together for a moment of grounding to celebrate our support for abortion access and honor the dignity of those seeking care.

Parashah Vayigash

Blair C. Marks
December 9, 2021
When reading Torah, sometimes when we skip to the end, we find unexpected things that were not part of the “main plot” in that week’s portion. It happened as I was skimming Parashah Vayigash … a familiar story … Joseph and his brothers are reconciled, Joseph and Jacob are reunited, Joseph deals with Egypt’s famine, Joseph settles his family in the best part of the land and provides them with food during the famine, and Joseph enslaves the Egyptian people. WAIT, WHAT??!! 

Walking in the Shoes of Many

December 9, 2021
Hi, I’m Michelle Singleton. I am a woman, I’m bi-racial, a Reform Jew, a mother, a wife, and a working professional. It’s a mouthful. And while I belong to all these minority groups, I would not change a thing. I’ve had experiences many others will never enjoy. I’ve had the privilege to walk in the shoes of many. 

Parashah Mikietz

Linda Ferguson
December 2, 2021
I chose to write this Voices piece because I felt the date was convenient, little did I pay attention to it as part of Joseph’s story.  My son Jesse’s Hebrew name is Josef, and his Bar Mitzvah Torah portion was Vayeishev, part of the Joseph story. Now I am writing a Voices piece about Parashat Mikietz. Coincidence?

Gratitude: A Year in Review and What’s Ahead for Our Future

Lillian Silver, WRJ Vice President of Philanthropy, Women of Temple Beth Hillel, Valley Village, CA
December 2, 2021
We wake every morning and pray, Modeh ani le-fa-necha, with gratitude and joy, thanking G-d for allowing us to open our eyes and embrace this new day. Traditionally, we are to find 100 things a day to recognize and be grateful. During this last year, I began a journal to help me recognize and thank G-d for special people, actions, places, and feelings that fill my soul and for which I am eternally grateful.

Parashah Vayeishev

Sharon Zydney
November 26, 2021

This week’s Torah portion, Vayeishev (Genesis 37:1-40:23), begins with Joseph sharing two dreams with his brothers and ends with Joseph interpreting dreams for both the Pharaoh’s cupbearer and chief baker.

Engaging Young Women with WRJ

Rachelle Weiss Crane
November 26, 2021

A tapestry of generations—that’s one of the taglines our Temple Emanu-El WRJ Sisterhood has used to reflect the importance of including women* at every age and stage in our sisterhood.

Roe v. Wade is at Risk, We Must Raise Our Voices for Abortion Rights

Lillie Heyman
November 18, 2021
On December 1, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the most consequential abortion rights case in generations. This case directly challenges the right to abortion affirmed by Roe v. Wade—that everyone has autonomy over their bodies and has the right to decide whether they want to continue a pregnancy—and the fundamental right to live with autonomy, dignity, and equality.

Parashah Vayishlach

Rosanne M. Selfon
November 18, 2021
In The Torah: A Women’s Commentary published proudly by WRJ and the URJ Press (now the CCAR Press), Rabbi Laura Geller shares a Rashi midrash that claims Dinah was safely locked away in a chest to potentially protect her from Esau. Rabbi Geller posits: “Hiding Dinah…locking her away is a powerful image about silencing a woman. And that silence echoes loudly through the rest of the Torah.”

Parashah Vayetzei

Pamela Feldman-Hill
November 11, 2021
About 20 years ago, I was working on a painting illustrating the story of Jacob’s Ladder and my cat walked across the wet canvas and proceeded to traverse the entire house, leaving blue paw prints in his wake as well as on the painting. Fast forward 18 years, and the painting was in an exhibit near my daughter’s home in the DC area. At the close of the exhibition, she asked to keep the painting since it included her memory of our beloved kitty, and also represented her favorite line from the Torah portion Vayetze: “Surely God is in this place, and I did not know.”