Crises often continue long after they disappear from the headlines, and the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people in Burma is no exception.
I’ve come to the conclusion we need to change the date of Simchat Torah. Our Jewish festivals must be re-envisioned as inspirational community gatherings of joyful spiritual Jewish celebration. Every single festival needs to be a time of great community involvement and meaning.
Many Baby Boomers remember listening to the sounds of tiles clicking on their mother’s game tables and smelling the smoke wafting from their cigarettes. Usually a lovely lunch or snack was served by the hostess and the games went on for hours. This was the social world of Post WWII housewives.
Israel is the new frontier of Reform Judaism. Since the 1990s the number of Progressive/Reform congregations and minyanim has doubled from 15 to 30, many of them served by native Israeli rabbis ordained at our Movement seminary in Jerusalem. Five thousand families send their children to Reform-affiliated schools, and last year a record 50,000 Israelis attended Progressive High Holy Day services throughout the country.
We took advantage of our empty nest status to take a week-long trip to Spain this month, the first time in almost 20 years that we could travel at a time when schools weren’t on vacation.