The true meaning of a bar mitzvah. A charitable initiative like the one these boys have created combines their own passions, helps those less fortunate and brings more meaning into their Jewish coming-of-age ritual.
"There are times I will need ropes and ladders and caribiners and helmets just to climb down into myself." Madeline DeVries shatters into shards, tortured by music and memories. She crumbles as her eyes accuse.
On my way to visit my student pulpit in Ohio several years ago, I helped a man dressed in traditional Hasidic garb with his luggage. After thanking me politely, he turned to me and asked, "Are you Jewish?"
You might ask what took me so long. My mom, Jenny Graubart, a Holocaust refugee who spent World War II in Havana with her family before entering the United States, finally has her life story inside hard covers. It only took her son, the author, decades to get around to making the book happen.
For those of you who don't know about this self-described red-hot mama, Ms. Tucker was a unique singer, racy comedienne, and fashion icon, known for her outrageous costumes and blue repartee.
Recently I taught a group of engaged interfaith couples about the Jewish holidays. After the lecture, I changed the topic, turned the tables, and asked them a question--What's been the biggest interfaith challenge in your relationship so far?
German composer Kurt Weill was no stranger to Nazi harassment. A prominent and popular Jewish composer, he fled to Paris in 1933. Well known for his theater hits, such as The Threepenny Opera and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, he soon headed to the safety of New York.
I am a strong supporter of the right to free speech guaranteed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a principle which is at the very heart...
I was in my office a few weeks ago, when my boss knocked at the door. "Mike!" I said, guiltily. I propped the door open with a sneakered foot, an em...
On the Shabbat of May 15-16, the Torah reading (Leviticus 25-27) sets forth the Torah's most explicit and most powerful regimen for healing the Earth from human over-use.
Every man, woman and child has a story. For some it is found in the most unlikely of places, during one of the most horrific of times, where actions of a few meant life versus death. Mine is a story of survival: my own and my family's.
Israel's policies can be legitimately criticized by fair-minded observers, but the criticism must be legitimate and it must be fair. And college and university officials must rebuke any campus organizations that pervert support for Israel into a modern-day scarlet letter.
Rachel Zacharia always knew she was Jewish. Her father, a Party official, read and wrote in Yiddish, and her parents spoke Yiddish with friends. But she didn't start thinking about her Jewish identify until 1968.
It is a fact that the story of America cannot be truthfully told without the story of people of African descent. If we are going to close the gap and confront racism, we need to learn and understand others' history and way of life.
The sight of pregnant women and small children was too much for me; I left their presence in tears. But it was when my mother refused to allow me to visit because she "needed to build a relationship with the one who could still give her grandchildren" that I felt truly broken.
I look forward to the sermons, which remind me of my Chumash and Talmud classes, where hidden meaning behind the scriptures and stories are revealed. I get excited when the pastor references the Old Testament, or a passage that I recognize, and imbues it with a new perspective.