This past week, I had the privilege of leading a training at The Center for Safety and Change, a domestic violence shelter in Rockland County, New York. I walked in, thinking I was going to to facilitate a training on cultural competency and working with people who leave insular communities.

A Messy Conversation, Right in Time

As I sit here re-reading this Yom Kippur reflection, I notice that this may be overwhelming for some, it discusses requirements of arranged marriage and the practice of hair-shaving for religious purposes. Please read with care and put it aside if it stirs up too much. 

Forgiving Oneself – Ourself!

I am not one of those people who look at the New Year as a time to write up goals or resolutions. To me the Jewish New Year has always been about reflecting, noticing where I am, what is working, and what I would like to change. It is a time to observe what is, and figure out where to go from there.

The New Year’s Calling

A photograph of a green apple and a small pot of honey on top of a circle wood board. Flowers and a pear are partially in the photo.

In the Book of Esther, which is read on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we find that after Esther finds out about the plot to kill the Jews she invites her husband, the king, as well as his advisor Haman to a banquet.  

Timing: A Purim Reflection

On Sunday afternoon, the Eve of Rosh Hashanah, I found myself driving down to the southern New Jersey cemetery where my maternal grandparents are buried. It is customary to go to the graves of loved ones before the High Holidays, but I rarely actually do this ritual. I have been known to visit loved one’s burial sites on their Yahrtzeit (the anniversary of their death). 

Remembering: A Yom Kippur Reflection

A Pride Reflection I grew up in a family where we prayed all the time. In addition to my father going to synagogue three times a day he recites both bedtime and morning prayers at home. My mother on the other hand, prays all the time she prays in Yiddish, sometimes in Hungarian her mother […]

“(Don’t) Be Who You Are”