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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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Reading (and other) Challenges

popsugar2017readingchallengeThe one time in my adult life I suffered a sustained bout of depression, I sought professional help as soon as I realized I hadn’t read a book in months. If there isn’t a pile of books on the nightstand, desk at home, coffee table and desk at work waiting to be read then something is wrong. It’s been a rough year, but I’m facing my challenges and staying healthy. I know this is true, because I’m reading about a book a week for pleasure.

The Dean of Educational Technology and Media–when I was a student we called this person a librarian, and now I call her “person who loves reading and books as much as I do”–sent me an email last week to let me know the Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge was posted. Being 6 books behind schedule and feeling stressed out I’m only 89% finished with this year’s challenge, I’d pretty much decided to take a break in the coming year. But Tiffany’s enthusiasm proved contagious and the link in her email was too great a temptation. I think I’ll stick to the basic challenge, and I’m going to need some help with a few of the categories. I’m sure my students or my daughters–both voracious readers and college students–will teach me what a steampunk novel is.

Soon after browsing this list and my bookshelves for potential 2017 reads, I received another email, this time a notification from Goodreads suggesting I review my Year in Books. I was equally tempted by the link in this email, but disappointed to discover my Year in Books is fixed at 48 books, 14,528 pages.

I love the Popsugar Reading Challenge because it pushes me to explore genres I would otherwise overlook. I also appreciate the social media network of Goodreads; connecting with other readers and viewing their lists helps me achieve my goal and stick to the deadline. These are good challenges. The only difficult, yet not insurmountable, challenge is reading 32 papers and submitting report card narratives while completing the last 11% of my 2016 Reading Challenge.

With more than 2 weeks left in 2016, I fully expect to complete my challenge of 54 books. In fact, I’ve just begun reading John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men to fulfill the category of “a book you haven’t read since high school.” It’s a slim, yet powerful, book. I’ve read 17 of 107 pages, and I should finish it before the weekend.

Sorry, students. Your papers may not get graded until Monday.

 

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Be Not Afraid

header-rabbis-640x97I’m blogging over at Rabbis Without Borders on the My Jewish Learning website this week:

I am not Afraid: Are you afraid of things that go bump in the night? I was, but I’ve been taking a course—well, officially I’ve been teaching a course—on this very subject, and now I am not afraid. Don’t get me wrong; there is plenty to fear in these uncertain times. Somehow, though, learning about all the things people feared in previous centuries and Read more →

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Celebrating Pride

header-rabbis-640x97I’m blogging over at Rabbis Without Borders on the My Jewish Learning website this week:

God Appears in Atlanta: While I pray for all of my children–for their health and happiness, and their safety in an uncertain world–I found myself unable to pray for anything in the days following the Orlando attack. I found solace only in the recitation of psalms, in Read more →

 

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