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Why Education Works at TOS
Posted on May 12, 2023

Why Education Works at TOS

May 12, 2023 You might have seen a headline in the news recently: Hebrew School Enrollment in U.S. Drops Sharply. It’s true. In the recent census completed by the Jewish Education Project, the research indicates that there are 45% less children enrolled in supplemental Jewish education settings since the last data point in 2008. Those are …

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Tzedakah: “Just Give, Give Justly”
Posted on May 5, 2023

Tzedakah: “Just Give, Give Justly”

May 5, 2023 A few years back, I stumbled upon a little video entitled, “Against Empathy”. In it, Yale University professor and psychologist, Paul Bloom, talks about the premise of his 2016 book by the same name, which is as follows: we are taught to think that putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and feeling …

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Mental Health Awareness, and Awareness of Holiness
Posted on April 28, 2023

Mental Health Awareness, and Awareness of Holiness

April 28, 2023 Since 1949, May has been observed as Mental Health Awareness month in the United States.  The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is at the forefront of raising awareness about mental health, fighting stigma and providing education and support to help alleviate the suffering of the millions of people impacted by mental …

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Celebration and Sorrow in Israel’s History and Present
Posted on April 21, 2023

Celebration and Sorrow in Israel’s History and Present

April 21, 2023 Next week, beginning Tuesday evening, Jews in Israel and the Diaspora will mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, a date known as Yom Ha’Atzma’ut (Independence Day). Each year, this day of celebration is immediately preceded by Israel’s Memorial Day for its fallen soldiers and victims of …

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Yom HaShoah: The Strength of Sharing Stories
Posted on April 14, 2023

Yom HaShoah: The Strength of Sharing Stories

April 14, 2023 This coming week, communities in Israel and around the world will observe Yom HaShoah u’Gevurah, Israel’s official day to mourn the shoah, the calamity that was the genocide of millions of Jews and others across Europe during World War II, and to honor the gevurah, the strength and determination of survivors. Yom …

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Passover Joy
Posted on April 10, 2023

Passover Joy

April 7, 2023 When we gather around our seder tables and tell the story of the Israelites’ enslavement and subsequent journey to freedom, we engage in – what I like to call – an embodied practice of empathy building. We are instructed to put ourselves in the shoes of our ancestors, and of those who …

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“The First Flowering of our Redemption” Leaning into Pesach, Leaning into Connection with the Contemporary, Complex, in-Crisis State of Israel
Posted on March 31, 2023

“The First Flowering of our Redemption” Leaning into Pesach, Leaning into Connection with the Contemporary, Complex, in-Crisis State of Israel

March 31, 2023 This Shabbat, on the cusp of Passover, is known as Shabbat haGadol – “The Great Shabbat.”  There are several traditional explanations for this designation, which you can read about here, but I want to share some reflections about what makes this Shabbat so significant in this very moment. We need the sacred …

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A Springtime Blessing for Trees and for Us
Posted on March 24, 2023

A Springtime Blessing for Trees and for Us

March 24, 2023 Yesterday, for a meeting of the Brookline Clergy Association, a monthly gathering of clergy and leaders from various faith groups across the city, I had the opportunity to visit Yusuf Mosque for the first time. It also happened to be the first day of Ramadan, and as the azan, the call to …

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Rituals as Containers: A Reflection on Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei, and our Upcoming Film Screening of A Father’s Kaddish
Posted on March 17, 2023

Rituals as Containers: A Reflection on Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei, and our Upcoming Film Screening of A Father’s Kaddish

March 17, 2023 As we conclude the book of Exodus with this week’s double parashah, Vayakhel-Pekudei, we find the Israelites constructing the Mishkan, the tabernacle, according to precise instructions given by God to Moses. The Israelites are still in their infancy as a free people, making their way through a vast and unmarked desert wilderness, …

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