Every institution has its ups and downs and Jewish institutions, in particular, are not immune from this phenomenon. I have spent many years of my life working in various Jewish organizations: Six years in over 4 different synagogues, 4 summers at Jewish summer camps, and 2 years at the J.C.C. I must admit that the
While the human microphone roared its messages in the Occupy movement, Yiddish poetry and song once served the same goal. From the late 1900s into the 1920s,Yiddish song was the voice of the Jewish workplace, decrying injustice, calling the masses to action, singing amid marches, crying out for freedom and change. Today as the Sh’ma community looks into the
Show me the money, I’ll shomer shabbat. What kind of Jew are you looking for? I swing from Renewal to Orthodox and My havdalah is spiced to the core. . Or it can be mild if you want that from me. I mean, to serve your community. I aim to please. I’ll bend my knees
In their definitive work on the demythification of thought and experience, The Dialectic of Enlightenment, Theodor Adorno and Max Horkeimer warn of a pragmatic future void of meaning. In the critique, the workers of the modern age are compared to the crew members in the Odysseus myth, their ears blocked and their heads lowered while
One of my favorite things about the Jewish is that the lines between ritual, ethical, and mundane life becomes blurred, such that many (most?) Jews do not consider it first and foremost a religion; yet to observant Jews Judaism does not necessary seem “religious” because every aspect of our life becomes influenced by our religion.
In early October I had the great pleasure of co-officiating at the marriage of my high school prom date to his perfect beloved. It was a brisk fall day and the wedding party poured out in patterns of black and white from the colorful chuppah woven from photographs that canopied over our heads. As the
BY: ALEX BRAVER
The image of a Jewish worker praying on top of a tree is a powerful one. Balancing between God above and their employer below, between concentration on prayer and concentration on footing, between their need for money and their need for meaning, the Jew perched on a branch reciting the Shema and the Amidah dramatically represents the balancing act that modern Jews in far less visually dramatic synagogues, offices, schools, and organizations must negotiate between the different parts of their identities, between their careers and their faith, between the work of sustaining the Jewish community and the work of sustaining their souls.
I grew up in the Jewish workplace. My mother, who is a rabbi and a cantor, spent a great deal of time raising my brother and me in the warm walls of our shuls and taught us on a daily basis how to act and view ourselves as Jewish leaders. The synagogue was our second
Sometimes there is absolutely nothing more rewarding than being a Jewish professional. There are moments when I am in a classroom, teaching kids Torah– helping them connect with their heritage, giving them the tools they need to build nuanced understanding and ask complex questions of our tradition– where it feels worth almost anything, because I’m