Reform Really

02/24/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Reform Really
02/09/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Reform Really

As Tu B’Shevat approaches each year, and we prepare to celebrate the New Year of the Trees, many of us rabbis love to return to one of our most favorite stories: Honi the Circle-Maker and the Carob Trees. The story, which is first found in the Mishnah, begins with Honi walking down the road. He happens upon a person planting a carob tree, a tree known for taking a very long time (at least 75 years) to produce fruit.

01/26/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Reform Really

This past Monday night, I sat in a circle with my 9th and 10th grade students. I asked them to give me an example of a way in which Judaism encourages us to take care of ourselves. They sat, thoughtfully, unsure of how to answer my question. I then asked, “How do you know that it is important to rest and recharge ourselves, at least once a week?” “SHABBAT!” They cried out. We discussed how lucky we are to be members of a tradition that not only values self-care, but also commands us to take a break once a week.

01/12/2012 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Reform Really

So, you know how there are tons of melodies for “Adon Olam?” You may not have ever thought about it before, but there are so many out there. Yes, each congregation may default to one or another, but the words to “Adon Olam” can be fit into many modern tunes. As rabbinical students in Jerusalem, we used to do a sing-down game where two teams would compete to see how many melodies to “Adon Olam” we could come up with (yes, this is what we did for fun).

12/28/2011 | | jewish Week Online Columnist | Reform Really

Glancing around the lobby recently, just as Religious School was dismissed, I took note of who was gathered to pick up their children. Some mothers, some fathers, some grandparents – this was not surprising. What was surprising was that many of the parents present were the non-Jewish parent of an interfaith household. These non-Jewish parents were responsible for bringing their Jewish children to and from Religious School on a weekly basis. And, thus, these non-Jewish parents were ensuring the formation of their children’s Jewish identity.

12/19/2011 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Reform Really

Is it really over already? We spend two years looking forward to each Union for Reform Judaism Biennial, only to have the five days of learning, singing, laughing, and praying go by much too quickly. Many of my friends and colleagues liken the feeling to our sadness leaving overnight camp at the end of each summer – we miss it immediately, and can’t wait for the next time that we are all together again.