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Have a Happy and Healthy Passover

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Today is My Birthday and Purim – Join the Party!

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Today is my ‪‎birthday‬ and ‪‎Purim‬ for the first time ever. Let’s celebrate!

With each purchase of Thresholds, I will donate $1.00 to JWI which empowers victims of domestic‬ ‪‎violence‬ to change their stories.

In memory of my mother, my ‪‎prayer‬ is to give $5,000 to the JWI Mother’s Day Flower Project which will provide baskets of flowers and OPI products to over 4,000 shelters across the U.S.

Seen and Heard

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“There is not a mother in the world who wants her daughter to have less rights than she has.” – Cecile Richards (President of Planned Parenthood)

 

 

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“When good ideas are shared great things can happen.” – Dionne Colvin-Lovely, National Media Director, Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc.

 

 

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“We no longer think the perfect woman is a stepford wife, rather, the stepford slut…We are all stakeholders in everyone else’s children…Without dating there is no training ground for how to learn how to be a partner…How do you go from hook up to marriage?” – Dr. Gail Dines, Author of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality

 

 

 

 

 

Photography for Hebrew College web site and publications.

 

“Do you want God to be a reality or an idea?” – Arthur Green, Former President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

 

 

 

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“What does it mean to be a jew in your pew?” – Elana Stein Hain, Faculty Shalom Hartman Institute 

 

 

 

 

So Proud of My SoKind Son

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From the SoKind Registry Blog:

In the Real Celebrations series, SoKind asks registry users to share a bit about their celebrations. Read on for a collection of inspirational ideas as well as lessons learned!

The Celebrant: Emet Hirsch, a 13-year old interested in computers, philosophy, math, and improving the world

The Event: Emet’s Bar Mitzvah, the celebration of his coming of age in the Jewish community

Location and Date: Beit Shmeul Jerusalem, Israel on December 24, 2015

In Sherre’s (Emet’s mother) Words: Our intention was for each person to feel as if they were celebrating with us even if they could not travel to join us for the event. We created a SoKind registry as a way for each person to share in this experience by enabling them to participate virtually in an activity or service that inspired or had personal meaning for them.

Meaningful Moment: What we really loved and did not expect was that people selected items on the registry that had meaning for them. For example, my cousin is a huge hiker and she loved being able to sponsor a hike to David’s Waterfall, as it felt personally significant to her. It gave us a new connection to her that we had not known previously. She will forever be our cousin Marla, the hiker.

Emet4Popular Gifts: In our tradition, it is customary to say a particular prayer for the deceased, the Kaddish, as a way to acknowledge those whom we have lost. On the registry, we gave people several options to donate in memory of someone in our family and it was by far the most popular gift. Then, at the ceremony, we named the donors before we said the prayer and it had a tremendous effect on everyone, both present and far.

Lessons Learned: We were hugely surprised by the ways in which people used SoKind to express themselves through their gifts. In the past, when we have asked only for donations, many people felt conflicted as it felt more like an obligation. But, with SoKind, people had an opportunity to not only choose how and what they wanted to give, but also to participate in the event in their own way.

All About Rabbi Camp (Yes, there is Rabbi Camp…)

12469621_1204183842929317_9204729038082922566_oEvery January, 80 Conservative rabbis (including myself) gather in the freezing cold in rural-ish Baltimore at the The Pearlstone Center for four-and-a-half days of learning, spiritual development, and, most importantly, socializing. It is essentially a school reunion each year where you see some old friends, make some new ones and laugh a lot about the life of a rabbi.

 

As this was my fourth year, I was prepared and ready for the cold (I finally bought winter boots and a North Face puffy jacket) and I was prepared for the great learning. But I was not prepared for Soulful Education with Rabbi Aryeh Ben David.  The description of the class seemed a bit touchy-feely, so I was not sure what to expect – Rabbi Ben David is not only a scholar of the highest order, but also not exactly the “granola” type. But in that very first session, when Rabbi Ben David shared that his goal was not Jewish learning (which is like telling fish not to swim), but rather to give us a springboard for life, my curiosity was more than piqued.

 

With each day, we learned how to “Ayeka-size” our classes. Essentially we have to teach to the hearts, souls and lives of our students. We are not here to transmit information, but rather to help each student want to transform themselves by what they encounter through learning. 

 

Rabbi Ben David was speaking my language. As a teacher and a student of life my goal is to help you discover that Judaism can transform you from the inside and out, making your life better and richer. It can give you tools to deal with your frustrating boss, your mid-life marriage, your rebellious teenagers. It is the road map that will guide you, not just in life cycle moments, but in all of life.

 

I know it sounds lofty but the future of Judaism depends on how we grow our souls. I am in. Are you?

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