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Ner Shel Tzedakah
Families donate gifts or money to charitable organizations instead of exchanging gifts on the sixth night of Chanukah.
GOTV: What Would Susan Do?
On November 5, a middle-aged woman walked up to her polling place in Rochester, New York. She entered the voting booth, and filled out her ballot indicating her preferred candidate. She dropped her completed ballot into the ballot box and went home.
The Friendship House
A congregation created three comprehensive projects for the Friendship House, a homeless shelter for abused women, children at risk, migrant workers, and the Sunrise Community, an agency for developmentally disabled adults. Temple Shalom 4630 Pine Ridge Road Naples, FL 34119 239.455.3030 www...
S.O.S. Save Our Soldiers
Raised awareness to the plight of the three Israeli soldiers captured in the 2006 Lebanon War. Community Contact Information: Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel South Orange, NJ www.tsti.org Light One Candle For Gilad www.freethesoldiers.org Goals: Raise Awareness of the plight of the three kidnapped...
Foster Care Outreach
Pairing congregants with foster children to provide gifts, arrange special events and help subsidize costs for foster parents in need. Community Contact Information: Congregation Or Ami Calabasas, CA www.orami.org Goals: Improve the dignity and quality of life of local foster children.
A Special Worship Service for Jews with Disabilities and Their Families
by Nancy Crown When I was called to meet with a member of my synagogue’s Congregation-Based Community Organizing Committee, I almost declined. I was asked to think about what the temple could do that it was not already doing. My main reaction was to reflect on the many opportunities for learning, worship, and community that I wasn’t partaking of, due to limited time and a longstanding “outsider” feeling when it comes to religion. Like many others, my upbringing did not include much meaningful participation in the spiritual aspects of Judaism. My daughter, now 28 years old, has developmental disabilities. She was keenly interested in Judaism as a young child, but as a teen, she began to talk about converting to another religion. By that time, our son was enrolled in school at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, where we were members. We chose a Jewish day school for a number of reasons, including our desire for our son to feel more secure in his Jewish identity than my husband, my daughter, or I had felt. We began lighting candles on Friday nights. I took Hebrew classes. We attended services, where, at moments, I would feel an achy kind of longing, alongside a feeling of being an outsider. Try as I might, I couldn’t quite find a way in.
The Melodies of the Four Questions: Mah Nishtanah Tunes for Passover
Do you remember the first time you were called upon to recite the four questions? There is nothing quite like the sound of the youngest child making a first attempt at the four questions. Proud parents at the ready silently mouthing the words lest the youngster should stumble and require...
Musical Settings: Adon Olam
When I was a student at the Anshe Emet Day School in Chicago, Illinois, I had a Hebrew teacher who suggested that every night before we went to sleep, it would be meaningful to recite the last verse of Adon Olam. As an impressionable and obedient fourth grader, I took to heart her suggestion and...
In Toledo, Asleep in the Room of the Moneylenders
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.