Prayer

Content type
Collection

Kim Chernin

[T]he idea of re–writing the Haggadah seemed startling and even blasphemous. Now, 30 years later, this re–writing has itself become part of an emerging Passover tradition.

E.M. Broner

This is a narrative of a community that is not in isolation but reflects the polis of the time.

Tallit at NewCAJE

Women and Tallit

Jordyn Rozensky

Why do some women wear Tallit? Why shouldn’t women wear Tallit? What’s the big deal?

If you’re like me, you probably haven’t spent a lot of time pondering these questions. As someone who falls somewhere outside of regular observance, a tallit, or prayer shawl, isn’t usually on the forefront of my thoughts.  (Even defining a tallit required a quick search of myjewishlearning.com.)

Last week I was lucky enough to join hundreds of Jewish educators at NewCAJE, a peer led conference that brings together educators from all walks of Jewish life. One of the highlights of my time at the conference was attending a session led by Ronni Ticker  entitled “Women of the Wall- What’s the Big Deal?”

Topics: Prayer

I Am the Egg (Wo)Man: Reflections on Rosh Chodesh Av & Tisha B'Av

Rabbi Sari Laufer

As a Reform Jew, I have long struggled with the meaning and ritual of Tisha B’Av. I have learned and studied over the years; this week at the Hartman Institute, we wrestled with the notions of and texts on communal mourning. I do not wish to see the Temple rebuilt speedily in my day, and so what do I do with this holiday?

Boston Dyke March

Claiming our Inheritance at the Boston Dyke March

Becky Silverstein

As a member of the GLBTQ community and a rabbinical student, it is clear to me that the words “there is no need” do not apply to places where Jewish and Queer communities intersect.  There is so much need.  Before these needs can be addressed, they need to be made visible.  GLBTQ Jews need to be seen as vital members of our GLBTQ communities.  We need to be seen and valued as Jews who have vast interests and abilities and life experiences that can, and already do, enrich Jewish life.  We, GLBTQ Jews, also need to stand up and claim Jewish community, Jewish tradition, and Jewish law for ourselves.

Women of the Wall Prayer Service in Gan Miriam, Jerusalem

A Woman's Place is at Prayer

Leah Bieler

Nearly 20 years ago I was living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a haven for observant Conservative Jews. I had my choice of multiple minyanim to attend; even the crowded weekend city streets had an air of the Sabbath, and kosher food abounded.

There were so many Conservative and egalitarian options that I rarely ventured into the neighborhood’s Orthodox community, and I certainly never attended an Orthodox synagogue.

Women of the Wall Prayer Service in Gan Miriam, Jerusalem

Why is Women of the Wall Such a Hot Button?

Velda Shaby

When it comes to women’s religious expression, what is it that drives men to such distraction that they throw chairs, hurl insults, and resort to other forms of violence? Are we as women allowed to push the boundaries only so far?

Women of the Wall Prayer Service in Gan Miriam, Jerusalem

When a Woman Cannot Mourn

Jennifer Rudick Zunikoff

The Women of the Wall have been fighting for a woman’s right to pray at the Western Wall since 1988.

Today’s featured poet, Jennifer Rudick Zunikoff, responds to the latest challenge facing these women- the right to say Kaddish and mourn at the Western Wall.

Topics: Prayer, Poetry

Women of Valor: Jewish Heroes Across Time

Learn about the lives of three trailblazing women and get some practical ideas for how to bring their stories into your community in creative ways.

"Thank G-D for creating me according to your will"

Melissa Scholten-Gutierrez

Three years ago I had the opportunity to visit the rare books room at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) library. I saw many interesting things, but one that would change my life forever.

Isabella Karp in a Tallit by Miriam Karp

The story of creation: Artist Miriam Karp on making her daughter's bat mitzvah tallit

Leah Berkenwald

Miriam Karp is an artist who has been creating hundreds of one-of-a-kind ketubot since 1976.

Shabbat at Planned Parenthood

Chanel Dubofsky

The people awake at 7:15 a.m., when I left the house this past Saturday morning, were walking their dogs, washing off the streets in front of their stores and picking up a bite to eat.

Yarmulkes and Prayer Shawls

Trying tallit and tefillin: Working on my hyprocrisy

From the Rib

A few months ago, I realized that I wanted to start wearing Tallit and Tefillin. Not because I had some grand change in ideology, but because I realized that doing so actually goes along with the ideology I’ve professed to have for quite some time.

Ruth F. Brin, 1921 - 2009

Ruth Brin was an essential part of the fabric of Minnesota's Jewish community, teaching classes on immigrant literature, American Jewish writers and Judaism at the University of Minnesota and Macalester, shaping the Jewish arts scene with contributions of time, energy and critical funding, writing book reviews . . . up until her death, and raising distinguished and engaged children. . .

Savina J. Teubal, 1926 - 2005

Savina reclaimed the stories of Sarah and Hagar through her writing, and through her life. Like Sarah, Savina went forth into new lands, without maps or mentors to guide her. Like Sarah and Hagar, Savina lived in a patriarchal world, challenging that world with her choices and her clarity about the work she was called to complete….

The scary subtext of "rethinking egalitarianism"

Leora Jackson

Last week in the Forward, Jay Michaelson writes about the need to rethink egalitarianism.  Egalitarian synagogues, he says, tend to be egalitarian in only one way: everyone is equally bored.  (“Egalitarian” in American Jewish life has historically referred to prayer services where men and women can both participate fully and take on leadership roles.)  He talks about friends who attend Orthodox prayer services because they find more meaning in the service, and about how attempts at inclusiveness and egalitarianism often translate into long responsive readings in English where nobody really believes a word.

Kavanah

Beth Surdut

I am, among many defining facets, a woman and a maker of tallit. A few days ago, I was gathering materials to write about the choices we make--to pray, to wear a beautiful prayer shawl, to leyn from the Torah, to actively weave ritual into our busy lives.

Finding a Jewish feminist home

Shira Engel

I walk into what is undoubtedly the most beautiful house on campus. Its simplicity allows for the exuberance of the people within it to shine. The rabbi opens the door, a young father of twins, all smiles and joking about having to convince me to attend the university even though my mind was already made up. I follow my friend Tobah, a Conservative Jew who has yet to skip a week of coming to the multi-denominational Havurah, into the living-room-turned-synagogue. We squeeze onto a couch with a sisterhood of freshmen and sophomores who make up the majority of the Kabbalat Shabbat crowd.

Topics: Feminism, Prayer

A Prayer For The New Year

Renee Ghert-Zand

Renee Ghert-Zand is a Jewish educator and writer living in Palo Alto, CA. This piece was originally posted on her blog about Jewish culture, education, current events and parenting, called Truth, Praise and Help: Musings of a Gen X Yiddishe Mama.

Topics: Prayer

The hows and whys of prayer

Judith Rosenbaum

Lately, I've had a lot of trouble praying. There have been times in my life when I was committed to regular prayer, when I loved to put on my tefillin in the morning and feel the marks they had left on my arm as I went about my activities afterwards. I've had moving experiences of communal prayer, feeling buoyed by the voices rising around me, and of individual prayer, when the sight of something in the world has caught my breath and provoked a spontaneous blessing.

Paula Ackerman becomes "spiritual leader" of Temple Beth Israel of Meridian, Mississippi

December 12, 1950

On December 12, 1950, Paula Ackerman became the interim "spiritual leader" of Temple Beth Israel in Meridian, Mississippi after her husband, who w

Israeli and American Jewish women read Torah at the Western Wall

December 1, 1988

Israeli and American women joined together and attempted to pray as a group at the Western Wall for the first time on December 1, 1988.

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