Gun Violence Prevention Speech by Eli Perlin

The first time that I remember hearing about a school shooting was the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. I was in the 4th grade at the time. A friend and I had just finished playing tennis. We were sitting in the lobby of a tennis facility and we heard them talking about the shooting on TV. We watched as …

Gun Violence Prevention Speech by Jeremy Liskar

This is Chicago. This is Chicago. That is the message I kept pushing as we tried to come up with the details for Chicago’s version of the March for Our Lives. There will be the national march in D.C. organized by the students that survived the Parkland shooting. There will be over a hundred marches throughout the country that stand …

A journey of Jewish learning, history and community

Dear Temple Sholom: I’m writing to invite you to join Melanie and me on a journey of Jewish learning, history and community. This fall marks the eightieth anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “night of broken glass” in Germany when the Holocaust sank to a new level of depravity, an ominous portent of nightmares to come. We want to mark the tragedy …

A prayer for those affected by Irma

God, please be with the rescue workers and keep them safe as they make heroic efforts in dangerous situations to rescue those in trouble. God, please be with everyone waiting to be rescued, keep them safe, and bring help to them soon. God, bless each and every person affected by this storm and surround them with Your love, protection, and …

Why Pharoah Is Like The Kardashians

This summer at URJ Camp OSRUI, I’m segel (faculty) for Tiferet, a program for budding artists. I wish I had gone when I was a kid! These middle school chanichim (campers) spend hours a day in studios pursuing their passion in music, dance, theater, visual arts or digital arts, under the guidance of talented specialists who are masters of their craft.

Reflections on the World Zionist Congress

I got back from Israel two weeks ago already. Everyone asks, “did you have a good trip?” They are excited to hear about my adventures and I desperately want to give them an uplifting and life-affirming response. But the truth is that it’s taken me a while to process everything I experienced. And it’s difficult to answer with the expected, “yes! What an amazing experience…I had such a good time!” My answer is more like, “well, things are crazy right now. The situation is upsetting. The congress was nuts. Yes, I was there when Bibi spoke. No, it didn’t really stand out to me at the time as all that crazy in the context of all the other crazy sounding things he said.”

When It Comes to the Middle East, It Can’t Be All Black and White

As a community, we feel deeply the recent acts of violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank. It is painful to see these senseless attacks being repeated day after day. Many of us feel both angry and sad as these events continue to unfold. As fears and tensions rise, the outcry is getting louder and the filters that keep discourse civil are being peeled away.