HaKarat HaTov: Jewish Thanksgiving and Jewish Living

November 24, 2016

Discover more Jewish values on raising kids who are responsible, grateful and menschy with money on Tues., Nov 29, when NY Times money columnist Ron Lieber speaks.

When this year’s Slichot speaker, Dr. Dan Gottleib of WHYY hosted his final weekly Voices in the Family last year, he focused the show on gratitude.  As callers thanked Dr. Dan for giving them something– courage or patience or thanks…  he responded (paraphrased) “I don’t give anyone anything that isn’t already there.  It’s about seeing what’s already there.”

Seeing what’s already there– this is Judaism’s approach to Thanksgiving.  One Hebrew term for gratitude is “hakarat hatov.” Read the rest of this entry »


Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month

February 4, 2014

Our congregant and community leader, Judith Creed, shares JChai resources for adults and a message about the importance of inclusion for Jews with disabilities.

When my son, Jonah, was born in 1973 and diagnosed as being disabled, the picture for people with special needs was pretty bleak. There were no social programs, synagogues did not accept special needs children in their schools, and we all were worried about the future of our kids. In 1987 a group of parents and myself got together and we opened our first group home—that would include Shabbat dinners, holidays, keeping  a kosher-style kitchen and would teach our children how to live independently. Read the rest of this entry »


Early Learning Center at RS

October 29, 2009

by Rabbi Jill Maderer

An Early Learning Center at RS:  “From the lips of babes and infants you have established strength” (Psalms 8:3).  Next fall, our “youngest generation” will strengthen our community with its daily presence at a Congregation Rodeph Shalom of Center City Philadelphia Jewish preschool.   The Congregation’s new property across Mt. Vernon Street will open as the starter location for the Rodeph Shalom Buerger Early Learning Center in September 2010.

The Vision: Totally integrated into the life of RS, the ELC will promote the intellectual, physical, social and emotional development of each child while celebrating the rich traditions of Jewish life.  Rodeph Shalom’s rabbis will establish the Jewish content with the goal of preparing students and families for a lifetime of Jewish practice.   Not simply a day-care center, the ELC will offer Philadelphia families a full early learning curriculum while providing child care hours.  Once open, the ELC will be able to work towards current standards of naeyc accreditation and Keystone Stars. Read the rest of this entry »


Returning to the “Empty Nest” after College Drop-off

August 28, 2009

Rabbi Michael G. Holzman

As I drove into the synagogue today, following my usual route down Broad Street, I entered the annual traffic jam called Temple University Drop Off.   What a mess.  But it reminded me of the excitement, anxiety, joy and sadness this day evokes in many families.  It also reminded me of a Jewish text.

Read the rest of this entry »


Emma and Jacob: Baby Names and Our Jewish Roots

May 14, 2009

By Rabbi Jill Maderer

What do you think of the current trends for baby names, and in particular, Jewish baby names?  My passion for Jewish community naturally leads me to wonder: Why do so many new and recent babies (and we are blessed with lots of them at RS!) have the same names as my grandparents and great-grandparents?  Are new parents in my generation simply influenced by a character on the popular television show, “Friends,” who named her daughter, Emma?  Perhaps.  Or maybe there’s more to it.  Much of my generation is characterized by a challenge to create true connections with friends and neighbors.  We don’t necessarily live near where we grew up, and we are likely to hold several jobs throughout our careers and live in several different neighborhoods, if not cities, throughout our adult lives.  Our communities, our routines, even our identities, are in flux.  Sometimes, the complicated opportunities of modern life are exciting, but sometimes they are unsettling.  Many of us yearn to feel grounded, and to be a part of a greater, consistent whole. Read the rest of this entry »