"We're not perfect but if you think we're the worst, first take a look at the rest of the earth," says rapper Ari Lesser, taking a musical look at countries around the world that have yet to arouse the ire of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions crowd.
I would imagine that rest and relaxation are the two most important criteria of a really good summer vacation, especially when one’s job is stressful. But if it is also true that expanding one’s horizons and learning about parts of the world that were completely unfamiliar are also important components, then my wife and I are enjoying one of our most successful summer vacations ever, here in Okinawa, Japan, and soon in Kyoto and Tokyo.
(JTA) -- Jewish federations throughout North America have raised nearly $1 million to help Japan recover from last month's massive earthquake and tsunami.
The federations' Japan, Hawaii and Pacific Relief Fund, opened immediately following the earthquake and resultant tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, has collected the money to support relief and recovery efforts in the damaged areas.
The Jewish Federations of North America, the umbrella group of the federation movement, has directly raised more than $187,000 through online, mobile and mailed donations.
Okay, I have a secret to tell you. But you have to promise to keep it a secret. Promise? Well, then, here goes: I’m a “theater person.” Yep, it’s true. I have a big background in theater, drama, musical theater, sketch comedy, and improvisation. Yes, that means I speak in silly voices and accents sometimes. And, yes, hopefully it does make my sermons at least a little more engaging. I’ve noticed that there are many fascinating similarities between the theater world and the rabbinate, but I suppose those observations will have to wait for another column.
After one or two probing and thoughtful questions from my Hebrew High School students this week about the unfolding disaster in Japan, I decided to shelve my lesson plan and just talk with them about what they were feeling. They were, like we all are, horrified by the images they were seeing, and struggling to frame this great tragedy in some way that was manageable for them.