Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 3/29/18

Earlier this week, I posted something on Twitter about an upcoming event at Temple Israel, which was to take place on 6:30pm on a Saturday evening.  Unexpectedly, I received a “reply” Tweet from someone I did not know, who saw our event, and asked “How can you have this event when the Sabbath has not…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 3/22/18

This past Sunday, I had the great pleasure of accompanying some of our Temple Israel teenagers on a small Confirmation Trip.  This is something that occurs at synagogues and temples big and small, and is a rite of passage as part of a Confirmation curriculum.  A Confirmation class, usually composed of students in their sophomore…

“Leviticus: Who Knew?”

Ah Leviticus.  I’ll be honest, for a long time it was not my favorite book in the Torah, and still isn’t in my top three.  I think the frustration that I feel about the book of Leviticus is summed up by the introductory words of a commentary volume called Unscrolled: 54 Writers and Artist Wrestle…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter – 3/15/18

When I was studying in Cincinnati, I had the pleasure of visiting Temple Sholom, a small Reform synagogue headed by a young rabbi, Miriam Terlinchamp.  Rabbi Terlinchamp and I are cut from the same cloth. We consider the rabbinate a place for entrepreneurship and intrapaneurship, a new term used in business today that references the…

“The Heart of a Teacher”

If you were keeping up with the news this past week, you most likely saw that West Virginia’s Governor, Jim Justice, recently signed into legislation a contractual agreement with the over 20,000 teachers in the state who were in the midst of a 9-day strike. The contract included a 5% pay raise for teachers, and,…

“Purim, Passover, Packing” – Weekly Newsletter – 8/8/18

When prospective Reform rabbis first enroll in seminary, they spend the first year living in Jerusalem. There, as winter comes to an end, they have a saying: Purim, Passover, Packing. It’s a testament to how fast this season moves. After all, we only just finished a very fun Purim season and now suddenly find ourselves…

Temple Israel – Weekly Newsletter- 3/1/18

I’ll be honest, for a long time, Purim wasn’t my favorite holiday.  Sure, I remember how fun it was to dress up as Mordechai, or Haman, or a Ninja Turtle and play carnival games at my synagogue. And I remember that most years I ended up taking, as a prize, a goldfish in a plastic…

“Keva and Kavannah” – Monthly Newsletter – March 2018

We are living in turbulent times.  In the wake of violence, upheaval, and discord in our nation, we often find ourselves polarized, a dark cloud over our lives. But it isn’t just the divisiveness in our nature or community. Individually, many of us are also spread too thin, our brains overloaded with information (mostly stressful…