Author Archives: Rabbi Sara Brandes

Rabbi Sara Brandes

About Rabbi Sara Brandes

Rabbi Sara Brandes fell in love with being Jewish while Israeli dancing at Camp Alonim in Los Angeles, CA. Since then, she has worked to build Jewish spaces where Judaism is felt, not just heard, space that are as fun and compelling as the feeling of holding hands, laughing, with hundreds of friends. Sara is California Director at Moving Traditions, and returns to Alonim every summer as Rabbi-in-Residence. When she is not engaging Jewish teens and adults in meaningful Jewish life, she is a yogi, partner of Hyim and mom to Michal and Gavi.

A Shared Existence

Rabbi Sara Brandes
November 13, 2014

I have just moved from the suburbs of Los Angeles to Kibbutz Hannaton in the Lower Galili of Israel.  While a series of economic miscalculations and blunders actually sunk the first wave of Israel’s kibbutz movement, it was arguably the inability of kibbutzniks to strike a healthy balance between openness and privacy that drove the More »

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What, You’re making Aliyah!?

Rabbi Sara Brandes
June 11, 2014

Why would an upper middle class girl from sunny Los Angeles choose to move to Israel? What is clear from the tears, shock and general mystification around our choice to move our young family is that aliyah was not the intended consequence of the Israel education I received at my Jewish Day School, summer camp, More »

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Fantasies

Rabbi Sara Brandes
April 11, 2014

I dream of Sinai. Each night, I fantasize that God would reach down         and in         that we would not be alone. I am driven by my dreams of Sinai         haunted by them. I believe it possible that          the God More »

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Lying about the Tooth Fairy

Rabbi Sara Brandes
March 4, 2014

I am the mother of two and I have always prided myself on being a very honest parent. We talk explicitly with our kids about death, sex, Divine authorship of the Bible, and other sticky subjects.  The one glaring exception in this parenting policy has been in the language my husband and I have used More »

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Beings Becoming

Rabbi Sara Brandes
February 10, 2014

In college, I used to dance atop a bar at a place called BAR. Liberated, in that liminal stage of American development lovingly referred to as the college experience, I was free. It was a time of intense passion and intense creativity for me. Today, I am a rabbi, and I no longer dance atop More »

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Not Me or We

Rabbi Sara Brandes
November 8, 2013

The essential divide between world religions is often reduced to one thing – me or we? Is the path to enlightenment, and by extension, to human salvation found by paying the closest of attention to the self or the other?  The framing of this month’s issue accepts this dichotomy. I do not. As a Jewish More »

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Gods of Stone

Rabbi Sara Brandes
October 17, 2013

Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, identifying thousands of deities; however, there is a debate among philosophers of Hinduism, ancient and modern, as to whether or not this polytheism is set on a backdrop of an essential monotheism.  For more than a thousand years, some Hindu mystics have argued that beyond the many, lies the One. More »

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Kapparah: Scrub me CLEAN

Rabbi Sara Brandes
September 10, 2013

Thank you to Or Rose for his brave and honest piece in this month’s print issue , “‘Avodah,’ Embodiment and My Body.”  While we know in the abstract that today, 68% of Americans are overweight or obese(1), it is an act of great courage to write “I am more than 50 lbs over weight” in More »

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