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Synagogues/Temples

The Power of Resilience

Change: the act or instance of making or becoming different. Change can be wonderful. Change can be terrifying. Change can be exciting, but change is never easy. Whether we want it to happen or not, change doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye. It takes time and effort. I learned this lesson when I decided to start a new position for my temple’s USY (United Synagogue Youth) board. 

Finding My Place

When the second half of 8th grade arrived, I was faced with what my 13-year old self believed was the most important decision I would ever have to make in my entire life. I had to choose a youth group to join. Even though Denver has fewer options than most cities, I was still overwhelmed by my choices. 

The Nerd Herd

If there’s one thing that characterized my formal Jewish education, it would have to be my profound dislike of it. Though I’ve always felt deeply connected to my Judaism, both culturally and religiously, organized religious school was extremely difficult for me. 

Where Have All the Boys Gone?

As soon as anyone tries to say that feminism is about women’s rights alone, someone pops up and points out that it’s a movement about equality.  But if that person then turns around and says that men are inherently sexist or that men cannot be victims of sexism, they contradict themselves.  Sexism towards men is real. It’s a parent telling their son, “big boys don’t cry.”  It’s a boy feeling unable to ask for help because he’s afraid of being perceived as weak. 

How The Internet Made Me A Better Jew (Also, A Feminist)

The variety of feminist voices gives me all the more reason to look for a variety of Jewish voices. Both Judaism and feminism give me the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with feeling like you truly belong somewhere. These two aspects of my life are so closely intertwined that sometimes I can’t even tell one from the other, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Harriet Perl, 1920 - 2013

Like everyone who took Harriet Perl for English or American literature at Hamilton High School in West Los Angeles, I never forgot her. She was a gifted teacher who gave the job great stature. What came back most vividly when I thought of her was her smile—radiant and affirming—and my joy in getting an A on a book report.

Lonnie Zarum Schaffer

When leadership squabbles threatened to shut down her synagogue after Katrina, Lonnie Zarum Schaffer stepped up and turned the disaster into an opportunity for change and growth.

Ruth Kullman

As president of Touro Synagogue, Ruth Kullman focused on keeping her community together after Katrina.

Jackie Gothard

A third-generation New Orleans native and the first female president of Congregation Beth Israel, Jackie Gothard worked tirelessly to restore the synagogue and bring the community back together.

Thoughts From Another Shul

I have an immense amount of respect for more traditional Jewish communities, Ashkenazi and Sephardi alike. Judaism cannot and should not be only one thing; and our culture’s ability to be both united and extraordinarily multi-faceted is part of what makes it so beautiful.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Synagogues/Temples." (Viewed on August 27, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/synagoguestemples>.

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