Liz and baby Helen

Mourning, Friendship and the Future

There is a way to mourn in Judaism and then there is what really happens over the years

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I’m Sorry. Hineini (Here I Am).

I need to apologize. I’ve been quiet. I’ve been in my isolated bubble of white-straight-privilege and been perfectly fine in there. Don’t get me wrong, I was outraged, but I was also paralyzed by inaction, and quiet about it. I told myself I was doing really great work by helping people turned away from Jewish […]

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The End of One LGBT Journey is the Beginning of Another

By Gretchen Rachel Hammond Throughout my life, I was a person in search of a religion to call my own. Born in the United Kingdom to a non-practicing Hindu father and a non-practicing Church of England mother, I never received any kind of religious upbringing beyond weddings and the hymns I was forced to sing in […]

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Thank You, Source of Stuff: A Gratitude Practice for Kids

When my kids were young, I introduced them to the practice of saying the Hebrew blessing, the motzi, before eating. Thank you, God, who brings forth bread from the earth. My older child instantly connected not only to the routine of the ritual but the theological aspect as well. But a few years ago, my […]

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Does Spirituality Have to Mean God?

Last week, my son started wondering about the edge of the universe. What is at the end? Is there an end? What does the word “everything” really mean? Is there anything outside of “everything”? I could tell as we talked that his mind was trying to expand enough to picture our expanding universe. We weren’t […]

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But WHY Mommy? Why?

If you’re a parent, there’s always those questions you know your kids are going to ask you at various ages and stages that you mostly want to avoid. Things like “where do babies come from?” “What’s sex?” and “Have you ever tried drugs?” I think over the years I’ve done a pretty good job at […]

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How Do We Accept the Things We Cannot Change?

A few weeks ago, I bonked my head while getting ready for bed and got a concussion. This was not my first time experiencing brain damage. I bruised my tender brain two-and-a-half years ago after a small car accident when I was living in Philadelphia. The air bag went off and temporarily knocked me out. […]

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One Thing We Can’t Control

My Grandma Harriet died a few weeks ago, at the age of 95. She was beautiful, creative and could expertly apply her lipstick without a mirror. She was my favorite hug. She cooked up the yummiest tuna noodle casseroles and the tastiest matzah ball soup. She lived a long life full of family simchas (celebrations), […]

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Bringing InterfaithFamily to HOTlanta

I wasn’t always into Judaism and my journey to become a rabbi was not typical. While I grew up steeped in Jewish tradition and community, I spent my twenties rejecting the religion of my childhood.  I grew up in the Conservative Jewish movement in Schenectady, New York and to me, Judaism felt homophobic, misogynistic and […]

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Last year, in the “Community Voices” section of my local paper there was a column written by a woman about the proliferation of yard signs in her neighborhood proclaiming “God lives here!” She said that often the behavior of her neighbors displaying these signs was far from divine. Recently, I recalled this column as I […]

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