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American Guild of Judaic Art New Vision. New Website. New Year. This new “virtual” home for the Guild was created by dedicated  members from all over the country with different talents and skills, who worked diligently to make the site easy to use, informative and—most importantly—the best venue to display AGJA members’ art.  I stand...

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Rabbis Without Borders Imagine the most diverse group of rabbis you can. Take a moment and summon a visual in your mind. Now compare it with this group: 22 men (some clean-shaven, others bearded) and women (one pregnant, another gray-haired); single and married; gay & straight; several recent graduates of seminaries and a few approaching...

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Pamela Jay Gottfried is a rabbi, parent, teacher, artist and author. An inveterate Scrabble player and New York Times Crossword Puzzle fanatic, she credits her love of words to her parents, who encouraged her to develop her vocabulary through reading and using the dictionary at an early age. Since her ordination from...

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#WhatRabbisDo

This week, while many of my fellow Rabbis Without Borders rabbis were enjoying the alumni retreat and I was feeling jealous because I just couldn’t get away to join them, I had the opportunity to reflect on a personal experience and write about it for the Rabbis Without Borders blog. So I guess we were together in spirit.

If you missed my post on Tuesday, please take a look and let me know what you think. You may leave comments here or at the RWB blog on MyJewishLearning.com:

At This Point in Time: Last week, all around the country, people stayed awake late into the night and took to the streets. The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, in order to designate funds to cities that provide shelter and services to homeless people, requires a census be taken during the last week in January, on a week night after dark. This census is called the Point in Time Count. I participated in Read more →

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I know where I’m going

One week from tomorrow, I will meet my friends from the Atlanta interfaith community and we will march together from the Center for Civil & Human Rights to the Georgia State Capitol, where I’ve stood with many of these friends–in all kinds of weather–at protests and celebrations. There are so many ways I am grateful to have found this beautiful and compassionate group, this family in my adopted city. There is no place I’d rather stand and no people with whom I would rather walk.

Look for these boots to find me and my group at the Atlanta March for Social Justice & Women:

Peace Boots: I find them in a consignment shop. I know instantly that I will convert these combat boots into peace boots. I begin by painting the metal spikes to reflect God’s sign of the covenant with all living creatures. Read more at the Rabbis Without Borders blog→

For inspiration: 

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Celebrating Hanukkah at Tiferet

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It’s betiferet logo 2en a long, long time since I posted to the Tiferet Journal website. A few weeks ago, I received an email about updating my settings, and that was just the reminder I needed. I’ve been spinning in a whirlwind of activity–teaching, moving, returning to work full-time, walking the dog, being a parent, doing laundry– while my writing time and studio time has been severely curtailed. So I’m rededicating my soul this Hanukkah. I’m taking time to nurture my creativity, slowing down. And I’m returning to the online places I love and have missed visiting in 2016.

While the post is still “pending” over at Tiferet, I’ll add it here for those of you would like to read it before Shabbat:

hanukkah-setup-new-house

The rabbis have a wonderful saying about moving to a new home, which loosely translates from the Hebrew as “change your place, change your luck!” I’ve considered this tidbit of Jewish wisdom often during the last nine months since we moved from our house in the suburbs to a town home just outside the Perimeter. Our lives have changed for the better in many ways: my commute to school is now ten minutes with my son as my co-pilot, my spouse parks in a free parking lot at the MARTA station and rides the train to work, and we are walking distance to many places we like to go, including the public library. Although we downsized, our college-age children are not deterred from coming home for weekends and holidays or from inviting friends to visit and sleep on air mattresses on the floor.

We moved right after Passover. I felt a little like the Israelites leaving Egypt in the middle of the night as I hurriedly packed up all of our belongings in the weeks leading up to the holiday. I took special care with ritual objects–many of them priceless only in sentimental value–and labeled boxes “Judaica, children’s art” and “Judaica, candle sticks,” so I would be able to find what I needed easily when each holiday arrived. However, in those last hours of packing, I failed to record a specific inventory as I rushed to find space for bubble-wrapped pieces in corners of unsealed cartons.

Before Rosh Hashanah I searched in vain for the shofar, the handmade honey pots and the apple-shaped trivets. Before Thanksgiving I came across a box on a shelf in the garage that contained four silver kiddush (wine) cups and the missing shofar. Before Hanukkah, during final exams week, I desperately searched for the menorah, the breakable, ceramic one I packed separately from the decorations that were stored in a plastic bin. I remember securing it in bubble wrap and white paper.

Had moving changed my luck for the worse? I can’t seem to find anything in time to use it! When I tell my colleague at school he laughs, suggesting it will turn up with the Passover items in the spring.

This morning I find it on a shelf in the garage: a large, sturdy box labeled “Judaica.”  It is filled with handmade honey pots and apple-shaped trivets, and some miscellaneous items made by a Kindergarten student who will soon graduate from college. I reseal the box and grab a Sharpie, scrawling the initials RH on the side of the box before returning it to the bottom shelf. We’ll just have to light the waxed-covered metal menorah I found in the plastic bin nestled among the dreidels and paper decorations.

I set up the sideboard in our dining room for Hanukkah, and I think about how lucky I am to be celebrating the holiday with all three children in our new home.

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