Eden Levi doesn’t think of herself as a writer, and she’s not planning to make it a career. But last month, the 17-year-old junior at Shearim Torah High School for Girls published a book and is selling it on Amazon.
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In leap years, parshat Behar and Bechukotai are separated and read over a two-week period. Otherwise, they are read as a double portion, and when read together, as they are this year, we look for some connection between the two narratives.
In a normal year, celebrating Shavuot meant gathering with fellow Jews to study Torah late into the night, maybe with some singing and late-night snacks.
The world looks different now than in 2019 — the year Arizona State University published the first study of the local Jewish community since 2002. Still, its findings have major implications for Jewish organizations and synagogues looking to engage more of the community.
Barbara Lewkowitz and Laurel Ginsburg, both active synagogue members, were so touched by the experiences of asylum seekers, they mobilized their congregations to provide humanitarian support.
As the number of asylum seekers at Arizona’s southern border increases, so too does the number of buses dropping off migrants at International Rescue Committee community shelters in Phoenix.
Parshah Emor delineates the special laws regulating how the high priest conducts himself. He must live according to a higher standard of sanctity than the “ordinary” Jew. For example, he is prohibited from coming in contact with a dead body.
Karolyn Benger has a social media network — and she’s not afraid to use it. Benger, who is “deeply concerned about justice and women in Judaism,” said one positive application for the platforms is helping Jewish women finalize long-awaited divorces.
Temple Kol Ami just hired its second cantor in the synagogue’s history. More than 30 years ago, TKA’s first cantor served only a few months.
The voices that speak from the etched tablets Moses carried down Mt. Sinai harmonize in their dissonance. That is to say, what makes Judaism whole is our internal, intergenerational dialogue that values and canonizes multiple perspectives. Torah boldly models this by placing conflicting view…
Temple Beth Shalom is the only Reform congregation in the West Valley, and we have a multi-generational and egalitarian membership. We are proud of our history of inclusivity and that we are able to offer a full range of educational programming, community and social functions and religious s…
B’nai mitzvah ceremonies have transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic from crowded affairs to limited gatherings of friends and family. Over the past year people have become used to watching a Haftorah reading via Zoom instead of inside a sanctuary.
I didn’t really know how good fresh vegetables could taste except when I experienced fresh romaine lettuce at my bubbe’s seder. I grew up in a home that was much more oriented towards canned vegetables, but fresh ones are a key ingredient in my cooking and my lifestyle now — not only at Pass…
When I was growing up, I never loved the dessert options during Passover. Between the canned macaroons and boxed cake mixes that used potato starch, the options really weren’t very impressive. Nothing ever tasted quite as good as desserts during the rest of the year.
I have long found Passover to be my favorite holiday because it lends itself to so many different lenses and tangible connections. I have been lucky to spend Passover in a variety of places over the years, and as such I have created many profound memories from these experiences.
Heralding the foundational narrative of the Jewish people, the Grand Shabbat is born upon the evolutionary arc of a mountain top. Shabbat HaGadol calls upon us to remember our origins as an ancient mountain people, who cultivated a socio-cultural hierarchy that mirrored the shape of elevated earth.
As increasing numbers of people get vaccinated, pre-pandemic behavior is becoming more common. Still, Passover will be challenging for some this year, whether because they haven’t been vaccinated, they’re unable to travel or they’ll be separated from family and friends.
When I think of my childhood Passovers, I confess that my thoughts go to dessert. Funny how that works with me — I have such a sweet tooth. Unfortunately, those desserts were very underwhelming.
Passover is a great opportunity for young children to get involved with the planning and preparation of the seder. While we’re still dealing with Zoom seders, here are some ideas to make the holiday fun for the whole family.
Passover is my favorite holiday. Every year I decorate the house with pictures of Egypt and Israel, paint “blood” on the door frame and create a multisensory experience to tell the Passover story. I have even been known to rewrite popular songs with Passover-themed lyrics and perform them fo…
This week we begin Sefer VaYikra, the book of Leviticus where sacrifices are a central topic and theme. The nature of sacrifices and their application to our daily lives is of major import and can teach us life-altering lessons.
Suzanne Treviño has been watching Friday evening services online since Congregation Beth Israel stopped offering in-person services due to COVID-19.
On Feb. 21, Gesher Disability Resources held a Purim shpiel table read of “Queen Esther and the Shushan Schemer.” The event was Gesher’s first national collaboration and was watched live by 150 people. Gesher partnered with the Pink Umbrella Theater Company of Wisconsin and Harry & Rose …
On Thursday night we begin our celebration of the most irreverent of Jewish observances — Purim. During this holiday, we read the scroll of Esther, exchange gifts of food, mishloach manot, with friends, acquaintances and family and also offer gifts to the poor. Furthermore, it is considered …
Throughout history, due to governmental or societal pressure, Jewish values and culture were usually at odds with the surrounding environment, and so Jews always had to make one of two choices: defiance or compliance.
Mishpatim (Rules), is a miscellaneous collection of laws relating to slavery, homicide, theft, agriculture and many other matters. As interesting as these specific regulations are, they have none of the energy and drama of the Ten Commandments, which we read last week. But the Torah understa…
The Children of Israel marched out of Egypt among a myriad of miracles. They were finally free after many years of bitter slavery. But that is hardly the end of the story. Freedom is, by itself, not a goal. It merely allows one the opportunity to define and strive towards a goal. For our mis…
In the cycle of stories presented in this week’s parshah, Moses and Aaron engage in a series of confrontations with a Pharaoh to secure the freedom of the Israelites from bondage. In their corner is God, who uses the opportunity to demonstrate God’s great power and spread God’s fame in the world.
In the cycle of the yearly Torah reading, we are in the midst of the Joseph narrative which tells the amazing story of Jacob’s favorite son, Joseph. In last week’s parshah, Joseph was imprisoned on false charges by Potiphar’s wife.
North American Ashkenazi Jews may associate Chanukah celebrations with potato latkes and sufganiyot, but there’s nothing in the Maccabees story that says these are our only options.
I have so many memories of standing around the kitchen frying up latkes as a kid with my mom and grandma. The smell of latkes filled our house for days, and while she never glanced at the recipe card, my grandma’s latkes were consistently delicious every year.
The candles. The oil. The darkness. The Light. For the Jewish people, the symbols of Chanukah remind us that when times seem the bleakest, there is always an escape.
Continents have been ravaged by tyrants. Countries have been decimated by despots. People have been led like sheep to slaughter. They have been tortured, maimed, executed and controlled in a cruel, phlegmatic manner — all so that someone could garner power.