Congregation Bet Am Shalom in Whiteplains, NY, joins the Westchester Darfur Coalition and Jewish World Watch (JWW) in providing and education for children fleeing genocide in Darfur. JWW's Backpack Project will enable children in the Oure Cassoni refugee camp in Chad to attend schools run by the International Rescue Committee. Filled with shoes, books, school supplies, soap and toothpaste (all obtained as locally as possible), the backpack allows each child to make the most of school under the most difficult of circumstances.
JRF NY/NJ Awarded Keruv Grant to Support Congregational Outreach and Growth
The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation is delighted to announce that the JRF of Metropolitan New York has been awarded a two-year grant from the UJA Federation of New York and its Synagogue Task Force, to work closely with New York area Reconstructionist congregations and support them to do outreach and to grow. read more »
When I heard that Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs had invited President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—a notoriously anti-Semitic and anti-Israel figurehead—to speak on campus, my first instinct was to oppose the event vehemently. read more »
I reasoned that, if Columbia hosted an anti-Semitic figure on campus, Ahmadinjead’s could attempt legitimize his terrifying and historically incorrect viewpoints. Why should one of the most prestigious universities in the nation provide a platform from which a dangerous leader such as Ahmadinejad could deny the Holocaust and spew his advocacy for the destruction of Israel?
We must reflect on how fortunate we are to ring in the High Holidays in the United States, where we generally practice our religous values freely and safely. Our fellow Jews in Sderot, however, do not enjoy such security. Often, geographic distance makes relating to the distress of our Israeli counterparts difficult.
Now is your chance to touch the hearts of citizens of Sderot struck by religous violence. Kehillath Shalom is involved in a "Joint Chessed Project." Our Israeli Ki Va Moed partners sent a list of about 130 families in Sderot, and we would like to collect letters of support and encouragement to send to them.
Envelopes are available in the JRFNY lobby. After completing your letter, please place the envelope in the "mailbox," also located in the lobby. Please do not take an envelope unless you intend to write a letter and return it by September 30. We want to be certain everyone on the list receives a letter, so please get involved!
This is a wonderful opportunity to teach your children and to remind yourself of the values of "chessed" (loving kindness) and "Col Yisraelim aravim zeh l'zeh" (the idea that all Jews are responsible for one another).
Letters do not have a mandated length (1 paragraph would suffice). Here are some details that you may want to include:
Thanks for helping to spread the joy of the New Year to our global Jewish community.
We are fortunate in the NY/NJ region to have a wealth of Reconstructionist intellectual talent including: rabbis, founders, leaders and authors who have focused on Reconstructionist thought and life. Discussions such as God Talk: The Reconstructionist Conversation Today are tremendously powerful ways of engaging your veteran and new members. Consider planning your congregation's Reconstructionist Shabbat or Special Session. Feel free to call upon JRF NY/NJ Regional Director Rabbi Shawn Zevit for resources! firstname.lastname@example.org