Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Aron Hirt-Manheimer

Inside Leadership
Actress playing Hannah Senesh in the play of the same name

Blessed is the match, consumed in kindling flame. Blessed is the flame that burns in the heart’s secret places. Blessed is the heart that knows, for honors sake, to stop its beating. Blessed is the match, consumed in kindling flame. – Hannah Senesh

Hannah Senesh, who was martyred at age 23 while on a rescue mission in Nazi-occupied Hungary, is perhaps best known for her two poems, “Blessed Is the Match” and “Eli, Eli.” She has also been immortalized in books, film, and theater – most recently by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s revival of “Hannah Senesh: A Play with...

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Corner of a building and a flight of stairs along a tree-lined alleyway in Jerusalem's Old City

Julia Knobloch captures the essence of the “wandering Jew” in her powerful collection of poems, Do Not Return (Broadstone Books, 2019). Each poem evokes intimate memories of people and places she has known personally or encountered through her identification with the collective Jewish experience.

In her verses, filled with pathos and longing, time and space are collapsed, transcended. Her ancestors and influencers are ever present – Batya, who drew Moses from the river; Grandmother Hanna grinding poppy seeds in prewar Poland; a priestly Leonard Cohen in a gray suit sitting on a...

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Erlanger family

Jeffrey Erlanger gained fame at age 10 when he appeared on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” in his electric-powered wheelchair. After visiting with Jeff, Mister Rogers turned to the camera and said, “For all of Jeff’s physical problems, he’s such a competent boy. He has learned so much because his mom and dad love him and he loves them.”

On the eve of Father’s Day, I sat down with Jeff’s parents, Howie and Pam Erlanger, to gain insights about how they raised such a competent and loving son.

ReformJudaism.org: As a young child, Jeff faced surgery after surgery, yet he always...

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Glass wine bottle in the process of shattering

Dr. Ruhama Weiss, parallel professor of Talmud and of spiritual care at the Jerusalem campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), the Reform Movement’s seminary, has mobilized her talents as a scholar, artist, poet, and public intellectual to challenge our assumptions as she examines the intersection of ancient texts and human experience.

It is the job of sages and scholars, she insists in her Ten Minutes of Torah (TMT) commentary on this week’s portion, B’midbar (Numbers, Chapter 1), to “uproot that which previous generations proposed and offer fresh...

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A variety of cheeses spread out on a table

Jill Zenoff, a Jewish environmental educator and chef, won the top prize at this year’s Cheesemonger Invitational. Zenoff, who an alumna of Reform Jewish summer camp URJ Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute in Oconomowoc, WI, also founded The Gan Project, an award-winning Jewish food and farming organization that served the Chicago area from 2010-14.

A professional cook since 2014, she is currently the sous chef at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station, CA. In advance of Shavuot, a particularly dairy-heavy Jewish holiday, I caught up with Jill to talk about home cheesemaking and a very...

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