"It can be a shock to the system when you meet someone with a bold vision and the chutzpah to realize it. A couple of years ago, soon after he had been ordained, my classmate Rabbi Owen Gottlieb sat down with me to share his vision for Jewish education. In it, Hebrew School and other avenues of Jewish study could become places for joyful experiential learning. Young Jews around the world could engage their tradition through digital, paper-based, and self-created games.
"What kind of hair do you have? Do you have long hair, short hair, or no hair at all? If you have hair, what color is it? Is it brown, blonde, white, black, green, red, purple, or something else? What style is your hair? Is it thin, thick, wavy, straight, or curly? Do you have dreadlocks, a mohawk, peyos? Do you show your hair or keep it covered? To what extent does your hairstyle demonstrate affiliation with a particular social/cultural group, or distinction from a group?
"The Jewish festival of Shavuot – the Feast of Weeks – celebrates the encounter between God and the people of Israel at Mount Sinai. As described in the Biblical book of Exodus the newly freed children of Israel receive the Ten Commandments, establish a covenant with God, and become a holy nation – a distinctive, set apart people, committed to live as a model of justice and righteousness.
"Motherhood is a process of letting go. Our children start as part of us, but from the time they are born they begin to separate, becoming themselves at a rate that can feel agonizingly slow to a mother rocking a screaming baby, but that in retrospect goes far too quickly. For many women—though not all—motherhood feels like a biological imperative. It is wanted."
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum recently marked its 20th anniversary, which included a gathering of what is believed to be the largest gathering of Holocaust survivors. But as more and more survivors pass away, will the museum lose its impact? Rabbi Brad Hirschfield discusses what might be done to keep the survivors' stories going. Read more...
WCCO Saturday Night with Esme Murphy, 5/11/13
Janet R. Kirchheimer’s poem, The Olympics Return to Germany, 1972, appears in Adanna Literary Journal. The issue, Women and War, honors the legacy of poet Adrienne Rich who passed away in March 2012. Ms. Rich has stated that “war is an absolute failure of imagination.”
Read the poem...
Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade for a variety of reasons. Rabbi Hirschfield says faith can help. Imagine if our faith traditions put dogma and practice behind a central test of whether the faith helps alleviate human despair both within and without the community? What if the true measure of a faith was how well it makes this world we live in a place of greater hope and meaning?
Rabbi Owen Gottlieb, founder of ConverJent was a featured speaker on the Digital Judaism: Tablet To Tablet Conference held at New York University's Abu Dhabi NY Campus in collaboration with the Center for Religion and Media, NYUNY on April 25, 2013.
Clal Resident Tzemah Yoreh, Ph.D. has published the first book in his Biblical Narrative (Kernel to Canon) Series. In Jacob’s Journey he relates ‘ chart the development of biblical narrative, which I believe began with a coherent kernel, an original Bible, if you will, and developed through successive additions into the story we have today.
"On the large wall on the 2nd floor as you cross the atrium there is an astonishing array of photos. Older people and young people, the famous and the unknown, men and women, converts and Jews from birth, people of all races, people of a variety of professions. Already on our journey though the history of American Jews, we are compelled to stop here and take notice. We are reminded that there are real people involved in the narratives of history...."