Reflections on Hanukkah

Reflecting on Hanukkah with Jessie’s interfaith family

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Top 7 Reasons Why Co-Officiating Weddings is a Joy of My Rabbinate

There are many reasons I enjoy co-officiating weddings. Here are some of the important ones. 1.  Partnership: Working with clergy of other faiths is extremely rewarding. Through planning the wedding, I have the opportunity to build a relationship with a clergy person of another faith and this enables me to teach about Judaism and to learn […]

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Embracing Our Differences

The following is a sermon I gave at Saint Elisabeth’s Church in Glencoe, Illinois, on February 22. Thank you for welcoming me so warmly into your community. What a blessing it has been to become involved with St. Elisabeth’s. I have spent my rabbinate these past eight years working with interfaith couples and families and […]

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Jews Help Community

Mitchell Shames, chairman of the Jewish Outreach Institute, wrote a terrific piece in eJewishPhilanthropy today about the perhaps unintended consequences that occur when Jewish communal organizations take a xenophobic approach to fundraising or community building. Attending a fundraiser of a local Jewish social agency, he had this experience: In one form or another, the overwhelming […]

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Pride Versus Prejudice

There are many things that I am proud of about my background. I am proud of my heritage, my hometown and my family. Being proud helps our self-esteem and drives us to reach for new goals. But from time to time, when speaking about my background, I want to be careful that I am not […]

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Two holidays in one? I’m not so sure.

There was a time when Eric and I shared a love for The O.C. In the days before OnDemand, one of the most romantic things that my future husband ever did was to take copious notes of the 2004 season premiere when I was stuck at a community meeting that night and couldn’t watch it […]

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Reason # 1: Why Being Interfaith is a Plus

When you are a mixed-faith couple, you loose the ability to assume from the get go.  The question is not when we celebrate Yom Kippur, with whose family will we break fast?  We need to start from more basic questions: Will we celebrate Yom Kippur? Will we both fast? And now that we have kids, how […]

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Genetic Screening: Why you should consider it

When you fall in love and decide that your partner is going to be the person you want to share your life with, life can seem blissful. If you start thinking about children, the future seems rosy and exciting. Some of you might be aware that the Jewish population may be at risk for certain […]

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Purim, Revealing the Hidden

One of the themes of Purim has to do with the hidden becoming revealed.  Esther hid her identity as a Jew within Achashverosh’s castle.  When the time was right not only did she reveal her true self, but she revealed Haman’s evil plot to destroy the Jews.  All the coincidences within the story of Esther […]

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A Christian Bar Mitzvah?

I’ve watched this video a few times and I’m still not sure how I feel about this. Did you catch that? Trevor’s already turned 13, and they’ve decided to throw him a “bar mitzvah — a Christian bar mitzvah.” Here’s what I’ve figured out from the video: They’re having a bar mitzvah as a party, […]

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