The Torah portion, B'haalot'cha, is a rich and complicated one, full of insight about the people we are and, more importantly, about the people we hope to be. Though the narrative is an ancient one, we see ourselves reflected in the light of those uncertain and perilous days.
The Israelites have left Egypt and are several years into their journey through the wilderness. Attempts to adapt traditional observances and maintain order in strange new lands, with an increasingly anxious population of 600,000, are not always successful. ...Read More
In seventh grade, I started going to a new school. This urban public high school was completely different from my private Jewish day school. At Rockwern Academy, it was not unusual to hear about second homes and fancy video game consoles, things my family could not afford. But at Walnut Hills High School, people asked me if I was rich.
My dad went to Walnut Hills, too, and he had a teacher who used to say: “No amount of happiness in the world can buy money.” Yes, you read that right: “no amount of happiness in the world can buy money.” When I first heard these...Read More
Have you heard someone at synagogue or in another Jewish setting say, “Im Ein Kemach Ein Torah?” (Pirkei Avot: 3:21, Rabbi Elzar ben Azaryah) The phrase often surfaces when it is helpful to underscore the need for fundraising, which some volunteers find challenging or downright distasteful. The words mean “without money, there is no Torah.” To sustain learning, as well as the many programs and services that our Jewish institutions and communal organizations offer, we must have sufficient funds. The call to action could not be clearer. Financial resources make...Read More
In mid-March, I was part of the WRJ Legislative Body Meeting, where we affirmed resolutions and approved changes to the WRJ Constitution. In changing language in one item of the Constitution, discussion arose as to whether or not a WRJ Board member had to be Jewish. After a thorough debate with many points raised, the majority felt that being Jewish, either by birth or conversion, was an important criterion for someone serving on the WRJ Board of Directors. However, I did not agree with that decision.
Similarly, last year, during the National Census, there were...Read More
Typically, summer is the time when many sisterhoods wind down their programming. But there is nothing typical about the times we are living in. When COVID-19 shut us down, it didn’t shut us up!
“Necessity is the mother of invention.”
And we mothers (and daughters) got creative! First, we recruited women for a new committee that would be responsible for creating programs that were engaging, informative, inclusive, and fun! Our group, the “Kesher Connection,” met (virtually, of course) to decide on the strategies necessary...Read More