“This was a painful, surprising betrayal by a culture on which I had pinned all of my hopes, to which I had devoted all of my admiration, my heartfelt ardor.”
- Albert Memmi, A Pillar of Salt read more »
Softly, softly! Let’s be silent!
Graves are growing here
- Shmerl Kaczerginsky, Vilna Ghetto April 1943
[Introduction by Mel Scult: I think we are all surprised when great people turn out to be like the rest of us. Here is a very ordinary day in the life of Mordecai Kaplan . He was impatient with himself because of something he could not find and was also suffering from the annoyance of a bad tooth ache. What interests me is that Kaplan cannot help but think in transcendent categories. He opens this daily report by saying that even though the divine should help us endure the worst that can befall us he often doesn’t endure his trials as well as he might. Rabbi Kaplan we welcome you to the human race.]
Wed. January 25, 1950 read more »
I often speak of religion as that which enables a person to be and do his best and to bear the worst that may befall him. If trying to be and do one's best is religion, I can say I have some religion, but if bearing the worst that may befall one is religion, I have mighty little of it. It doesn't take much to upset me, although I try to control myself. I say this apropos of the way I have been behaving the last two days.
Where: Perlstein Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.
Theme: Tales Through Jewish Time: The stories that shape our lives. Featuring: Creative services, music, storytelling, free time, hiking, Torah study and much more...
Cost: $300, including room and board. read more »
Scholar-in-Residence: Rabbi Leila Gal Berner is a graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and holds a Ph.D. in Medieval Jewish History.
May our experience of eating and being satisfied, help liberate the world from the illusion that resources are scarce and that we have to hoard.
U'mah she'shatinu, yih'yeh lirfuah read more »
And may what we drank, help us to be fluid and flexible, and to heal.
I took some pics. I'm sharing some of them here. Please share your pics here as well. You need to be logged in to this site in order to do so.
Make sure it's okay with the person you photographed for you to submit their photo. read more »
Once logged in click the Add Content or create content links. Select "Image" and then make sure to select "Purim 5767/2007" from the drop down menu when you are filling in the form. E-mail me if you are having any trouble. I can't wait to see your pics.
Camp JRF is pleased to announce the opening of a new session for Summer 2007! read more »
Hadraha, our leadership training program, will be open to entering high school juniors and seniors. Taking place during the second session only (July 25 - August 12), this program will provide teens with the opportunity to explore the meaning of leadership, hone their skills, and begin to make the transition from camper to counselor. With a small group of participants and a highly experienced staff, Hadraha proves to be a defining experience for all.
Tamar is sleeping against the window as the Negev desert infuses our bus with a sense of disconnectedness. Tamar is using her Army-issued coat like a blanket and her blond head rocks with the rhythm of the charter bus. She has written earlier in the back of the notebook in Hebrew and English instructing me how to say, “I love Tamar,” followed by a note written in a hand unused to English. It is meant to be in my voice: “I came to Israel and met the one and only Tamar Hendler—”, and then hers, “OK Joe… I’m going to bring you back your crapper book don’t worry. There you go.” read more »
It is an English that is pockmarked with strange inflections and words—I had written in my journal that her speech was like a carob tree that suddenly sprouts a rose, but in reflection, it would be as if a rose bush suddenly sprouted a bunch of carobs. These carobs would be in constant danger of pulling the whole rose bush down.
They are holy clothes, and they reflect many meanings of kavod, a word that means weightiness, dignity, and honor—and whose root is related to the word for a part of the body—the liver, the heaviest organ in the body. Every detail of these clothes is resonant with that complexity of meaning.
Call Hattie toll free at: 1-877-573-7827.
Until the new "store" goes on line, get more online information at our old web site.
Special: For orders made before March 12, you will receive free shipping and a free companion CD of Pesach songs for any orders of 12 or more copies of "A Night of Questions" Hagaddah by Rabbis Joy Levitt and Michael Strassfeld.
“Where are you from?” the Chabad Lubavitcher asks me as he wraps the phylacteries around my arm. He hands me a pink sheet with the prayers to do tefillen. read more »
“New Jersey,” I say. Behind us is the Western Wall. It is a cold and rainy day and the Wall is mostly bare and empty of anyone besides my Birthright group. Soggy paper prayers collect in tangled piles at the base of the Wall.
“New Jersey!” he says, his smile growing underneath his scraggly black beard. “Cherry Hill?”
In this teaching Rabbi Elliott Tepperman of Congregation B'nai Keshet in Montclair, NJ teaches about our need to acknowledge the limits of our control:
Purim reminds us that much in life is a matter of chance. Where we are born, who our parents are, the friends we meet, what we look like, etc. are all things that are either completely or mostly out of our control. We work hard to exert control in those areas that we can but it is just as important to learn how to roll with the punches and how to accept our blessings.
Living more than 5,000 miles away and following the lives of Israelis through the lens of the media gives us a two-dimensional view of life in that very contentious part of the world. read more »
Just over a week ago, Carl Sheingold, JRF’s executive vice president, and I returned from 10 days in Israel, where we were able to gather a much fuller understanding of both the politics and lives of our Israeli brethren.
Camp JRF is looking for creative, energetic, talented, upbeat, responsible, and excited Jewish college students to be on our staff for Summer 2007. We are currently looking to fill a number of positions - each of which are open to college students (or graduating high school seniors). Staff members are chosen for their maturity, commitment to Judaism, special skills, camping and youth experience, and genuine care for children. Our salaries are competitive, but the experience of spending a summer in a 24-7 Reconstructionist community is truly priceless! read more »
Job descriptions for the positions we are currently looking to fill are as follows:
See the file attachment for a listing of news around the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation. It is in Word format, intended for newsletter editors to cut and post into their newsletters.
It's also available here for our web site readers. Enjoy.
On February 14, members from two JRF congregations in New England set out on a joint trip to Israel. The trip ends on February 25. Each congregation has set up a blog to report on the trip: Temple Hillel Bnai Torah from Newton, Massachusetts and Agudas Achim from Atleboro, Massachusetts.