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Reclaiming the Soul of Shabbat in Quarantine

March 26, 2020, by

One of the most striking things that I have heard from students and families about the first Shabbat under quarantine has been the extent to which so many people created a much “more spiritual Shabbat” than the one they were used to. This phenomenon points to a number of lessons that we can use going

Purim, the Holocaust and the State of Israel

March 2, 2020, by

The Purim miracle was a “milestone moment” in Jewish History as a nation, faced with almost certain annihilation, was rescued by Divine intervention. Unlike the Exodus from Egypt, the Purim experience unfolded without overt Divine involvement. It reminded us that G-d always manages history – sometimes in a manifest fashion while other times ‘behind the

When the Pendulum Stops

February 26, 2020, by

As Purim approaches, the words “v’hahafoch hu” ring through the air. Purim is a celebration of the complete overturning of danger to our people: what was up, went down; what was down, went up. Some problems can really only be solved that way, by completely undoing the status quo and remaking our reality at the

Five Ways to Make Our Shuls More Accessible to Those with Physical Disabilities 

February 18, 2020, by

Our Shuls are designed to help us feel closer to G-d through the holy rituals we perform, the spiritual atmosphere we soak in, and the supportive and caring kehillah (community) we become part of. It’s a place where we bring our children to teach them about the impact of Tefillah (prayer) and it serves as the epicenter of our community. However, for those with disabilities, our Shuls aren’t

“The Real Thing” Aspire: NCSY’s Yarchei Kallah

February 6, 2020, by

“The oldest generations is the most religious; the youngest are the most nonbelieving.” So wrote Lane Greene in a recent article in The Economist. Greene traced faith in the U.S., in historical terms, and demonstrated what we know and see: teens are not less engaged, they are unengaged. By extension, the very idea of gathering

Who Will Give the Orthodox Jewish Community a Voice?

January 29, 2020, by

The elections for the American delegation to the World Zionist Congress are underway, and unlike a normal election, voters have over a month to make their choice. One of the major delegations from the 2015 election was the Orthodox slate, under the name of Vote Torah. They have emerged in the 2020 election as the

Time After Time

January 29, 2020, by

Parshat Bo chronicles the dramatic redemption of the Jewish people from a two hundred-year nightmare of backbreaking slavery and oppression. The great “night of redemption” is punctuated by celebratory rituals which ultimately become incorporated into the Pesach Seder. However, before the Jews are informed of these ceremonies, they are instructed to reconfigure their calendar to

The Decision

January 15, 2020, by

The birth of Moshe represents a turning point of the Jewish saga in Egypt. This would-be savior arrives as the Jewish slaves are being mercilessly crushed by Egyptian oppression. Pharaoh had legislated that all Jewish infants be flung into the Nile river and delivered to their inevitable death; Egyptian discrimination had begotten slavery and slavery

A 3 Month Reflection on NCSY Israel

January 8, 2020, by

As we began preparing our quarterly report, I felt the need to reflect on my first 3three months working with NCSY Israel. I started the position in September and since then I have been meeting with teens, parents, board members and staff to learn more about the organization and our accomplishments. I have experienced both