On a sunny, spring afternoon in Israel, my heart was beating faster than usual as I entered the dusty Judaica shop on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Street. I stepped up to the counter and asked to purchase a new set of tefillin. It felt like I was doing something so wrong, and yet so right. Why? How could
About Jesse Paikin
Jesse Paikin is a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Prior to his rabbinical studies, he worked at the Union for Reform Judaism as coordinator of Israel Programs for high school and college students. He has also received certification from HUC-JIR in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults. A displaced Canadian who thrives on living in other countries, Jesse is originally from Toronto, and has lived in Montreal, Jerusalem, and New York City. Jesse has worked as a Jewish Educator in a variety of settings, including NFTY in Israel; Kutz: NFTY’s Campus for Reform Jewish Teens; Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, and Temple Kol Ami of Thornhill, Ontario. He is currently an Educator and Senior Youth Group Advisor at Brooklyn Heights Synagogue. Among other things, Jesse is a voracious music listener, a vegetarian pretending to be a vegan, and a lover of the hidden fedex arrow. He blogs regularly at jessepaikin.wordpress.com, and can be found on twitter at @jessepaikin.