As I visit different synagogues, I pick up little ideas, things that people do, that resonate. As I come across the really 'cool' ones, I'm going to report them in this ongoing column of "best practices." Enjoy!
This year, for the first time, February is National Jewish Disability Awareness Month. The idea was first proposed by the Jewish Special Education International Consortium, and it has been picked up by Jewish organizations and agencies across the religious spectrum, including the Union for Reform Judaism, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and United Jewish Communities. To mark the month, NJJN will publish a series of articles on special-needs families and programs. Next week: Special education in synagogue religious schools.
At first glance, most young adult, non-Orthodox Jews in America seem rather unengaged in Jewish life. This seems especially true of single Jews between the ages of 25 and 39. Few of them join synagogues or JCCs, even fewer contribute to Jewish federation campaigns, and with the exception of attending Passover Seders or High Holiday services, not many young adults outside of Orthodoxy practice Jewish rituals.
Every generation of Jews confronts its distinctive challenges and in doing so leaves its particular contribution to Jewish life and history. The previous generation struggled for Jewish rights and interests in the public arena. It achieved widespread support for Israel, freedom for Soviet Jewry, the public memorialization of the Holocaust, and a virtual end to American anti-Semitism, winning astounding success in all four domains.
Fifteen years after a study on the rise of interfaith marriages had Jewish leaders bemoaning their religion's slow death, Judaism is thriving in Boston. What's more surprising is who's leading the revival.