Remembering Refugees at Passover

This Passover (Passover celebration resources, here), as we celebrate our exodus from Egypt as refugees seeking freedom in a promised land, let’s also think of the refugees today escaping the horrors of war and oppression and seeking freedom in the United States.  When you come to RS for services, Berkman...

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Passover Resources 2016

Passover is coming!  Are you looking for resources?  Start to eat down your bread, get your post-it’s ready if you’re preparing a seder, and check these out!  A sweet Pesach to all! A family-oriented Haggadah, “Now We Are Free“. The Four Questions, chanted by Cantor Frankel. Social Justice ideas from...

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Anti-Muslim or Anti-Jew, It’s All Bigotry

I recently coordinated a panel on global anti-Semitism. Participants learned about the efforts of the U.S. State Department and the American Jewish Committee in their work urging foreign governments to crack down on the perpetrators of anti-Semitic attacks.   I was struck by a comment from US Department of State Team Leader of Anti-Semitism and...

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Reminder Days: LGBT Movement’s 50th Anniversary

This month, the National Constitution Center and the William Way LGBT Community Center announced a partnership for an exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first LGBT protests in the nation. In 1965, and for the next 4 years, gay rights activists gathered outside Independence Hall carrying picket signs and...

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Haggadah Recommendations

I hope your Pesach preparations are going well!  If you’re ready to pull out the post-it’s and prepare to lead your own seder, here’s a list of Haggadah suggestions, from most in-depth to most simple…

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Counting the Omer: Liberated, Only to Be Bound

What is freedom in a world of obligation?  Liberation in a religion of responsibility?  As we move further from Pesach and closer to Shavuot, consider David Brooks’ ideas about how we are liberated, only to be bound. Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha-olam asher kidishanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu al s’firat ha’omer. Blessed...

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Counting the Omer: What’s Left is Love

A story is told of a rabbi who lay on his deathbed, smiling.  “Why” his students asked, “just moments away from death, are you smiling?” “Because,” the rabbi replied, “For the first time, I understand the words of Vahavta: You shall love the Eternal with all your heart, all your...

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Counting the Omer: Destiny and Free Will

When we consider the meaning of our actions and of our days, many wonder: Destiny or free will?  Judaism says both! A story is told about Rabbi Akiva’s daughter.  When she was born, astrologers told Rabbi Akiva that on her wedding day, she would be killed by a poisonous snake and die. ...

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