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My Star of David Necklace (7/23/2020) - By Madeleine Stern My Star of David necklace Hidden away in a drawer Little did I know it was so precious A symbol to wear and not ignore   Middle school was not a safe place Don’t talk about your religion too loudly My Jewish identity I could not embrace Of the few Jews, none… Continue Reading
Bridging Generations During Social Isolation (6/28/2020) -   By Rabbi Joshua Stanton, Hedy Peyser, MSW and Andy Siegel, MHA We are living through a pandemic of biblical proportions. It is causing a secondary pandemic of loneliness – especially for students and seniors. The pandemic will change us all, shaping our lives and the way we understand it. But we need not be… Continue Reading
A Word to the Stiff-Necked (5/14/2020) - By Adam Garfinkle During a year in Singapore away from my birthplace—specifically, the now defunct Columbia Hospital for Women--best described as part sabbatical and part exile, I had been enjoying more time to read, think, and write that I had been used to during more than a dozen years as a magazine editor. And then… Continue Reading
 MLK Day of Service: A Prelude to Passover (1/27/2020) - By Nechama Liss-Levinson, Ph.D. Leaving my warm apartment in Northwest DC this past Monday, I felt the harsh slap of freezing wind on my face. Even with gloves, my fingers felt numb until the car interior slowly warmed as we sped forward, no traffic to be seen on this MLK holiday. Minutes later, we were… Continue Reading
Empowering teen voices in Howard County (1/2/2020) - By Liron Karpati Growing up in a Zionist household where it was common to discuss Israeli politics over tahini and salad, I have always felt that Israel is at the heart of my Jewish identity. But while I am familiar with Israel from my home, Jewish community events, and the country itself, I have seldom… Continue Reading
Saluting Israel’s Heroes: the Benson Family (10/8/2019) -   By Miriam Segal Glenn Benson of Bethesda, Maryland, grew up in an ardently Zionist home, the son of South African immigrants who cared deeply for Israel. In high school he attended Jewish day school, participated in a B’nai B’rith Youth Organization summer trip to Israel, visited close relatives who’d emigrated from South Africa to… Continue Reading
A Transformational Summer in Israel (9/18/2019) - By Chloe Sahn I am a student at The George Washington University majoring in criminal justice and minoring in music. This summer I had an amazing opportunity to be in Israel for almost three months. I began my journey with Birthright and continued it with Onward Israel for an internship experience. I never imagined how… Continue Reading
Personal Reflections on a Week in Israel and the West Bank (8/7/2019) - By  Sheridan Bahar My familiarity with Israel is not new, as I have traveled there many times and explored many areas of this beautiful country that makes me feel whole. I was lucky enough to travel to Israel and the West Bank with IPF Atid, the young professionals network of the Israel Policy Forum,during my latest visit… Continue Reading
On his Yahrzeit: Honoring the Legacy and Soul of Ronald R. Glancz, Z”L (8/4/2019) - The Hebrew phrase for the yahrzeit candle, נר נשמה (ner neshama), means “soul candle.”  Last year at this time, the Greater Washington community mourned the loss of one of our beloved leaders, Ronald Glancz.  This month, we light the yahrzeit candle and celebrate and honor the soul of a man whose contributions live on in all… Continue Reading
In Brazil, sports is a great way to break cultural barriers (8/4/2019) - On this coming Tisha B’av, observed on Sunday August 11, I will be thinking about my recent trip to Brazil, and my proposed project promoting interfaith tolerance and respect among youth. One of the calamities we remember on this fast day is the expulsion of the Jews from Spain following the Inquisition, and the terrible… Continue Reading
Changing society’s image of German Jewry: From ‘We vs. They’ to ‘Us’ (6/26/2019) - We have always felt incredibly proud to be Jewish. From attending Jewish Day School for thirteen years, to celebrating our Judaism at our Conservative summer camp, to being active members of BBYO, the two of us have committed ourselves to embracing our Jewish identity and the Jewish community that we are so lucky to be… Continue Reading
What is the traditional American Jew to do now? (5/16/2019) - I consider myself to be a traditional American Jew. I am neither Orthodox nor Reform. I have a good upbringing in Jewish tradition and values but I live a secular-oriented life. I have a deep and I believe unshakeable commitment to a Jewish homeland in the State of Israel but I am deeply disturbed by… Continue Reading
To be Pro-Israel, We Need to Reaffirm, not Redefine (5/6/2019) - In a recent op-ed in the Washington Jewish Week, Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb asserts that “it’s past time to redefine what ‘pro-Israel’ means’ as he calls on all good American Jews to rally to the banner of “progressive Zionism” to combat the scourges infecting the Jewish homeland. While giving lip service to the “serious external… Continue Reading
Silence is golden, or is it? It’s time to speak up (5/3/2019) - On the Sabbath just hours before Passover 2019 concluded, four members of the Poway, California Chabad synagogue were shot in cold blood. Three were injured and one was killed. It is no coincidence that this marked the six-month anniversary of the deadliest attack on the American-Jewish community when 11 Jews were killed and seven injured… Continue Reading
Rockville’s Erik Willenz–A Life of Service to His Adopted Country America (5/1/2019) - The memories overflowed for me when the other day my wife and I attended the funeral at Arlington National Cemetery for my stepfather Erik Willenz, a long-time resident of Rockville, Maryland, who had died at the age of 96. One of my biggest memories was of my mother saying she never would get married again… Continue Reading
Memories that haunt and heal (5/1/2019) - By Jeremy Kay For many of us, memory is a cherished companion.  We remember sayings from our elders, childhood explorations, loves gained and lost, and a host of other life events.  Even after the death of a loved one, the pain of loss is eventually replaced by the remembrances of a valued life. For survivors… Continue Reading
For Jewish Americans, the Holocaust Then and Now (4/22/2019) - By Saul Golubcow The special exhibit on “Americans and the Holocaust”  currently at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum asks: “What did the U.S. government and the American people know about the threats posed by Nazi Germany? What responses were possible? And when?” I lost a large number of family members in the Shoah, so for… Continue Reading
Powerful Paradigms: The Path Towards Extraordinary (3/1/2019) - Everything is Green?   Imagine you wake up one morning, and suddenly notice that your hands are green. As you pull off your blanket, you see that your legs are green as well. Your heart rate speeds up as you realize that your entire room has turned green too! As you walk around, you’re shocked… Continue Reading
Skiers from the Holy Land (2/21/2019) - Israel is not a country associated with alpine skiing, but the sport has gained popularity with Israelis as I found one winter [2018] in the French Alps on a trip with the Ski Club of Washington, DC. Surprisingly, 100 of the hotel's 450 guests at Club Med’s Les Arcs Extreme were Israeli, according to resort… Continue Reading
Lessons on Nurturing Our Inner Song (12/24/2018) - Alma Deutcher is a thirteen-year-old musical genius, who lives in England. She began playing the piano at the age of two, followed by the violin at three. At four, she was composing and improvising on the piano. At age six she composed her first piano sonata, soon followed by longer and much more complex orchestral… Continue Reading