Month: January 2017

Creating Community at the Shabbat Dinner Table

I remember a symposium that took place during my year in Israel (2012–13) on the HUC-JIR Jerusalem campus. The subject of the two-day conference was a relatively recent and unfamiliar Hebrew word for a familiar and well-founded idea: עמּיות (amiyut), or ‘peoplehood’. The discussion made me realize that the Jewish people have many different notions of what it means to…

Hearing Our Story in Their Stories

As the Social Justice Fellow for Temple Sholom, I have been a part of a congregation whose commitment to its community is felt throughout the city. So it was little surprise that I found myself sitting in the Clifton Mosque, surrounded by Jews, Muslims, Christians, and members of almost every other faith tradition in the city. In all, over 150…

When My Students Became My Teachers

Ben Zoma said, “Who is wise? The one who learns from everyone, as it is said; ‘From all who would teach me, have I gained understanding.’” [Ps 119:99] — Pirke Avot 4:1 As a teacher I often find that well-known quotes have a basis in something much older. The common phrase “and the student becomes the teacher” is seen in…