What It Takes

Two thoughts. This was my third time – three and a half, if I count the tine my family drove from Los Angeles to Chicago for a cousin’s wedding – a trip my thirteen year-old, California-centric self had described as “going to the East.” Three and a half times back-and-forth across the continental United States, […]

So Much More Than a Fast Day

Out of sight, out of mind. Sometimes. Jewish life is so directly connected to the Jewish calendar, that we too often do not internalize the significance of a holiday – which itself usually commemorates an historical event – unless we celebrate it with family or the larger community. Summertime is a wonderful break from our […]

Three Legs

Now that I’m experiencing triple digit temperatures, I know that summer is upon us (I mean, really upon us). As someone who has led nearly thirty (I started young) trips to Israel, many of which took place during the summer; and as a former resident camp director; I know the power of those two incredible […]

Time to Celebrate

I have Frontier Airlines to thank for it. Instead of traveling for fifteen hours for a four-hour flight, I opted for one more night in Cleveland and a non-stop flight the next morning. Unbeknownst to the trying-to-be-helpful agents, the consolation prize was not going to be a travel voucher; it was being able to attend […]

There Is So Much More

If I had kept my eye on the calendar, it would not have been that much of a surprise; pulling into the J’s very full parking lot for a morning meeting should also have given it away. But it took walking into the JCC that morning, where I had to dodge a phalanx of eager […]

The Strength of Community

Though I’ve only been writing these columns from Scottsdale for a few months, careful – or even not-so-careful – readers have probably deduced some of my central motifs. I don’t need to yell out “Spoiler Alert” to tell you that Israel – and more than that small sliver of land in the Middle East, but […]

Words, and Meanings

Although this column will be sent out on Friday the 29th, it’s being written on Wednesday, about eight hours before the beginning of the observance of Yom HaShoah (“Holocaust Remembrance Day”). As with most things, the choice of language is not merely important; it provides insight into our values. I circled Holocaust Remembrance Day within quotation marks […]


That long sigh some of you may have heard this week was the sound I released as I – finally – moved into my new office in the JCC. Not that I’ve minded working out of an apartment on a sturdy-and-lightweight (it says so in the ad) fold-up table from Costco, but there’s just something […]

The Schools We Really Want

It’s nearly impossible to keep up with the information flow today; staying current with articles and thought pieces and journal entries (I’m not even including old-school, real live books) is like drinking from a firehose – you can drown in what is actually a life-sustaining act. So I was particularly glad that a recent piece […]

A bit different – but completely the same

Three weeks and three different shuls – three different siddurim, three very different darshanim (the person delivering the commentary on the weekly parasha), three equally carb-heavy (but tasty) Kiddush spreads. I love feeling attached and connected to a particular synagogue community; there’s nothing like seeing people so often that they become your second family. At the same time, for years I’ve enjoyed a […]