On baseball and prayer

October 27, 2013

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I’ve been waiting my whole career to start a D’var Torah with a reference to baseball.

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Hate Crimes: A Desecration of God’s Name

October 18, 2013

Rabbi Dr. Ron Kronish has spent decades pursuing reconciliation in Israel. As director of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel, Kronish teaches that Judaism, Christianity and Islam all teach peace.  Too often, however, they are corrupted to fuel hatred and violence. Kronish works to harness the teachings and values of the three monotheistic religions and transform them into a source of reconciliation and co-existence. Here is his Huff Post column about this week’s extreme vandalism against Arabs in Israel, and his call to understand such distortion of Judaism as a desecration of God’s name.


A Single Carrot and a Jewish Food Movement

October 14, 2013
Fish marketExplore “A New Judaism from the Tabletop: Food and the Transformation of American Jewish Life” in our conversation with Professor Lila Berman at RS on Wed., Oct. 16, 7:00 pm, in a keynote sponsored by the Dr. Bernard & Rose Susan Hirschhorn Behrend Fund, and whet your appetite with these reflections…

Last Wednesday evening I walked down to the RS kitchen to pick up my CSA vegetables, and and to say hello to this week’s team of Caring Community congregants mitzvah-cooking for other congregants who are returning from the hospital.  There, we also had some congregants cracking garlic.  Lots and lots of garlic.  It looked like 50 peeled cloves in the pile!  Our CSA farmer, Phil, had asked RS to peel cloves so that each could be planted as a bulb and grow garlic for the next season.  So even on North Broad Street, Farmer Phil had found a way for us to connect to our food source and in a way, to farm!  Read the rest of this entry »


Support Group for Parents of Addicts and Alcoholics

October 10, 2013
Learn about our Caring Community’s support for people struggling with addiction and brokenness (congregants, or not; Jewish or not):
Support Group for Parents of Addicts and Alcoholics
*2nd and 4th Tuesdays starting on November 12 from 7-8:30pm
*Rodeph Shalom, parking available, enter on Mt. Vernon Street
Dear Community,
     We are members of the Caron Parents Group; parents of children with drug and alcohol addictions and, often, co-occurring mental illness. These diseases affect their mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Their addiction and suffering has made us sick, too. How can a parent not be affected by the behaviors and trauma of an addicted child? Read the rest of this entry »

Bugs in My Kale: Bringing Intention to Our Tabletop

October 10, 2013

How are we connected to the food we eat? Imagine a movement that links consumption and production, shoppers and workers, in Professor Bryant Simon’s discussion: The Dinner Party, this Sunday 10/13, 10:15am at RS. (A part of the What is Your Food Worth partnership with the Feinstein Center). Below is another reflection on the connection from a D’var Torah last Shabbat:

Week after week I bring home my box of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) vegetables.  Recently, I was putting my veggies away in the refrigerator, and planning my strategies for getting my family to eat so many vegetables in just one week. Kale?: kale chips, kale pie, kale soup.  Red, green and purple peppers?: the blindfold-guess-the-color-of-the pepper taste test game.

As I was planning, and storing the vegetables in my kitchen, I noticed a lot of bugs crawling on my vegetables. Read the rest of this entry »


Coloring in Creation

October 4, 2013

In the spring of my senior year of high school, after the stress of college applications and acceptance were over, my best friend and I both had the overwhelming urge to…color.

We went to the drugstore and bought a brand-new 64 pack of Crayola crayons and a couple of those super-sized coloring books, the ones that are as big as our entire upper bodies. Mine had Sesame Street characters. We took them back to my house, sat on the floor stretched over the pages, and colored.

We wanted at that moment in our lives, I believe, to break free from the pressure to produce a product and instead to enjoy the process of taking a black and white outline, choosing only a place to start and a color to start with, and watching the picture emerge.

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One in 40 Ashkenazi Jews Carries a BRCA Cancer Gene Mutation! Oct. 6 Community-Wide Symposium

October 3, 2013
The actress revealed she¿d had a double mastectomy after learning she carried a faulty gene

The “Angelina Jolie effect” has quadrupled the number of women seeking genetic counseling regarding hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and learning about rigorous screening and preventative surgery.  Join us for the potentially life-saving awareness campaign and spread the word!  All are invited to the Hereditary Cancers symposium at RS on Sun, Oct. 6, 10:30 am, where Basser Research Center  director Dr. Susan Domchek, facilitated by Philly 57’s health reporter Stephanie Stahl, will speak about the BRCA 1 and 2 cancer gene mutations–carried by men and women– and experts will guide us towards resources.  If you cannot attend but want guidance, and especially for testing for a family member with cancer, contact:  basserinfo@uphs.upenn.edu. Together we will pursue the mitzvah of pekuach nefesh–to save a life.