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PEP-RJ's Blog

by Sharon Zydney

This week’s Torah portion, Lech L’cha (Genesis 12:1 - 17:27) tells of Abraham leaving the land of his birth, the known, and moving on to an unknown place, a place that God will show him. Abraham and his household do as asked, taking all of their possessions and arrive in the land of Canaan. God promises the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants. After traveling to Egypt to escape famine, Abraham eventually returns to Canaan and settles there. God then reminds Abraham that the land “to the north and to the south, to the east and the west, for all the land that you...

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As Dr. Seuss wrote in one of my favorite books, "Oh the places you"ll go!" Yesterday, this phrase kept resonating with me. We began the day at Beit Shmuel, the Reform Movement’s terrific guest-house in Jerusalem. In fact, visiting this gorgeous piece of real estate in Jerusalem is absolutely worth a trip! But I digress... We began the day in a meeting room recently refurbished by a generous grant from WRJ. A beautiful plaque honoring WRJ hangs on the wall and as Reform Jews from around the world gather, I feel very proud. But I digress...

We began the day learning about the basic...

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Greetings from Tel Aviv! It's certainly a different city from Jerusalem and yet in so many ways it is utterly and consistently Israel. The differences could not be more dramatic! Take for example, the landscape—or should I say seascape. The beaches in Tel Aviv are gorgeous and we have had spectacular summer-like weather. There is a vibrancy in Jerusalem, but it is nothing like the energy, the construction and the youthful presence here in Tel Aviv. And yet, in these troubling days, there are similarities between the two cities in the conversations, attitudes and activities. As an example,...

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Every October, people around the country observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). DVAM is meant to educate and raise awareness about domestic violence and contains three main themes: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence; celebrating those who have survived; and connecting those who work to end violence. Domestic violence is a tragedy that affects millions of people in this country, and women are at the highest risk of being victims. Recently, advocates for...

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by Rozan Anderson

There’s probably no one among us who doesn’t know the famous story of Noah and the ark. The tale is central to this week’s parashah, Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32). It is a story of a world gone corrupt and God’s decision to hit a reset button: why, how, and the aftermath.

Now, I’m not saying that our world today needs such a major reset. Indeed, after the flood, God created the rainbow as a covenant with all living things, with a promise to work together, rather than to erase and keep starting anew.

What types of resets might we consider, though, on a...

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