Tag Archives | #Israel

Every1Counts: Day 48

May 17, 2018   3 Sivan, 5778

TONIGHT IS FORTY-EIGHT DAYS, WHICH IS SIX WEEKS AND SIX DAYS, OF THE OMER


I am Jewish, humble yet proud of a heritage that has dignified me even as others have tried to destroy my race.  I was twenty years old in 1948 when the Palmach/Haganah accepted me as a soldier in Israel’s War of Independence.  The experience changed the course of my life. I am a Jew who believes that, though small in numbers, we have a powerful moral influence on the world, and in the words of Hillel, ‘If not now when?’ …

It is imperative that we nurture a fidelity of commitment to purpose.  What is that purpose?  Not just to exist, but to continue to bring to this world actions noble in thought and deed, always in courage, remembering, we are our own final solution.

 Vidal Sassoon

(Sassoon, Vidal.  I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl, edited by Judea Pearl and Ruth Pearl, Jewish Lights Pub., 2005, pp. 77-78.)


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Every1Counts: Day 47

May 16, 2018   2 Sivan, 5778

TONIGHT IS FORTY-SEVEN DAYS, WHICH IS SIX WEEKS AND FIVE DAYS, OF THE OMER


 Judaism is both a religion and a race. It’s an imprint I carry with me everywhere. I was taught to hate prejudice. I was taught the values of loyalty—the values of family. Even though I was not fortunate enough to go to college, I was certainly embedded with strong Jewish values of education and learning, no matter what the form. …We are small in number; our impact has been incredible.

…I must say [my] trip [to Jerusalem] really hit home to me. The very flavor of Jerusalem stayed with me long after I left. I liked all the people of the region, including the many Palestinians I met. I felt a sense of belonging and I thought a lot about my late parents, who would have loved to step on that soil.

Larry King

(King, Larry.  I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl, edited by Judea Pearl and Ruth Pearl, Jewish Lights Pub., 2005, pp. 51–53.)


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Every1Counts: Day 40

May 9, 2018   24 Iyar, 5778

TONIGHT IS FORTY DAYS, WHICH IS FIVE WEEKS AND FIVE DAYS, OF THE OMER


To me, being Jewish means:

  • Knowing that I am part of a chain of tradition that goes back generations
  • Knowing that I am not the last link in the chain
  • Feeling comfortable that I can enter a sanctuary anywhere in the world and know what is going on and how to participate
  • Feeling guilty that I do not go more often
  • Being proud to be of Am Yisrael
  • Appreciating foods that everyone loves (brisket, bagels, blintz, babka) and foods that everyone loves to hate (borsht, herring, gefilte fish, chopped liver)
  • Taking to heart that it is my responsibility to help repair the world
  • Being an active member of our community

Herb Baer


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Every1Counts: Day 38

May 7, 2018   22 Iyar, 5778

TONIGHT IS THIRTY-EIGHT DAYS, WHICH IS FIVE WEEKS AND THREE DAYS, OF THE OMER


To me, being Jewish means I have the privilege of being part of a nation that has survived countless trials and enormous changes in the world around us for over 5000 years. Through all of that time we continued without losing our unifying identity as the Jewish people, Am Yisrael. Right now I’m spending an amazing semester in Israel, connecting with my Judaism and learning so much in the process. The many young Jews on this program with me are the future of reformed Judaism, and it’s amazing to see how passionate we all are. I think it’s fair to say that, speaking for all of us, we are honored to be able to continue as Jews and perpetuate an unbroken chain that tells the incredible story of our people.

Arielle Kolodzinski


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Every1Counts: Day 32

May 1, 2018   16 Iyar, 5778

TONIGHT IS THIRTY-TWO DAYS, WHICH IS FOUR WEEKS AND FOUR DAYS, OF THE OMER


Being Jewish means belonging, family, tradition, zedaka and Tikun Olam.

It manifests itself in a thousand ways, both for the individual and for those around her or him, near and far.

It happens during Hanukkah on a plane, drawing a Menora on a napkin and “lighting” the candles with a checkmark of a pen.

It happens by saying Kadish for 38 family members who perished in the Holocaust.

It happens by building a Torah Ark for the alternative services.

It happens with celebrating holidays with family, writing one’s own Hagaddah.

It happens by caring for and supporting Israel.

It happens by acting like a mensh.

Yishar Koach

Ari Delevie


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Every1Counts: Day 31

April 30, 2018   15 Iyar, 5778

TONIGHT IS THIRTY-ONE DAYS, WHICH IS FOUR WEEKS AND THREE DAYS, OF THE OMER


Being Jewish provides me with a framework for making sense of the world and finding purpose. It also means I feel a keen responsibility for tikkun olam, to support Israel’s right to exist, to stand up against Anti-Semitism and to support my Jewish community.

Jane S.


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Every1Counts: Days 28 and 29 (a double portion because it will soon be Shabbat)

April 27, 2018   12 Iyar, 5778

TONIGHT IS TWENTY-EIGHT DAYS, WHICH IS FOUR WEEKS, OF THE OMER


As my country struggles to preserve its moral center and maintain its democratic values, I am able to find comfort and solace in my Judaism. For me, being a Jew means to not stay silent; to speak out in the face of injustice, bigotry, racism, and misogyny to name a few. Social justice is a core tenet for a Reform Jew. Passover is one of my very favorite holidays in large part because it affords us, as Jews, to reflect on our own journey from slavery to freedom and in so doing we are faced with our own reality of how people in our country and in the world remain “enslaved “ for a multitude of reasons and unjust practices. I honor my Judaism and thereby myself, my family and those who came before me, when we raise our voices for justice and challenge ourselves around our Seder table to reflect on these issues and ask ourselves what are we going to do to make this world a better place?

Liza K.


April 28, 2018    13 Iyar, 5778

TONIGHT IS TWENTY-NINE DAYS, WHICH IS FOUR WEEKS AND ONE DAY, OF THE OMER

*We are posting this response today, so you do not have to use your computer/phone on Shabbat.


In this melting pot of a country people frequently ask, “What are you?” Most people answer that question with, “I’m Irish,” or “I’m Italian” or whatever nation is associated with their ancestry. My answer is always, “I’m Jewish.”

Judaism is an identity, a culture, a heritage and a way of life just as much as being Irish or Italian. The words, “I’m Jewish” communicate a world for people. They paint a picture of my culture, my heritage, my traditions as much just as much as the picture that is painted by being Italian or Irish.

Many people when they communicate the words, “I’m Jewish” don’t associate Judaism with the Jewish homeland of Israel. For me, Israel is there in the foreground, and any conversation about what it means to be Jewish must contain a connection to Israel. I may not possess an Israeli passport, but I am connected to the Jewish homeland, like Ireland or Italy is connected to the ancestors of those lands, no matter where they live or what their passport documents. It is this connection and the need for a country where Jews from all nations can go to be at home and at peace that informs my Jewish identity.

So while I wouldn’t answer the question “What are you?” with, “I’m Israeli,” I do hope for the day when the answer, “I’m Jewish” is associated with a background in Israel just as much as being Italian is associated with a background in Italy.

Erica Newman


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Every1Counts: Day 11

April 10, 2018  25 Nisan, 5778

TONIGHT IS ELEVEN DAYS, WHICH IS ONE WEEK AND FOUR DAYS, OF THE OMER


I’d like to share a story that I feel sums up my feelings on being Jewish. I walked into a meeting at a brand new school wearing my Tel Aviv University sweatshirt. Immediately, I was asked by one of my classmates if I had studied in Tel Aviv and about my connection to Israel. I made a new friend, based solely on the fact that we both could understand the Hebrew on my shirt. Being Jewish means wherever I go, I will have a community. I will always be part of something bigger than myself, and I am reminded of that every day. Perhaps most importantly, being Jewish has given me the opportunity to connect to Israel in a very unique way. Israel has given me a second home, where even taxi drivers say Shabbat Shalom on Friday nights. I cannot adequately express how that feels in words, to know there is a place where I will always be accepted and safe.

Arielle Gur

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