Building Community with Dinosaurs?

I wasn’t sure how the dinosaur theme was going to work out. Each year we empower our 8th grade Religious School class with the task of selecting the theme for our fall 5th-8th grade youth retreat URJ Camp OSRUI. Over the past few years they’ve picked fun, normal themes like food, movies and music, and we’ve made connections to Jewish …

Reflections on Pittsburgh by Eli Perlin

In the past week our country has seen the hate that lives within it. On Wednesday a man shot and killed two people in a Kroger store because they were African-American. During this time, bombs were being mailed to Democratic officials by a man who had spewed hate online towards minorities. Then on Saturday morning a gunman shouting antisemitic slurs …

Pittsburgh Reflections by Sophie Rhodes

It is hard to imagine terrible things happening in our own community. Temple Sholom is, for myself and many others, a second home. We consider it a safe place to be. We would never expect something tragic to happen in a place like this, with such a large community and so much security. When the seventh graders that I help …

Not Quite at Home: Finding a Balance Between Security and Compassion

November 2, 2018 Sermon by Rabbi Edwin Goldberg A couple of days ago I was in Copenhagen, Denmark. This is a very happy place to me because during World War II, unlike other countries in Nazi-Occupied Europe, the Jewish community was mostly saved from extermination. What was the difference in Denmark? The King himself refused to mistreat his Jewish citizens.  …

Rabbi Conover speaks at Vigil to Remember Victims of Hate Crimes

Rabbi Conover speaks at the Oct. 28, 2018 vigil in Chicago’s Federal Plaza to remember victims of hate crimes in the Tree of Life synagogue attack and a shooting at a Kroger grocery store in Kentucky. Please click here to to view the video on the Chicago Tribune website.

Resources: Talking to Children

  Dramatic, disturbing news events can leave parents speechless. These tips on how to talk to kids about the news — and listen, too — can help.   Talking to Children about Events in Pittsburgh and Anti-Semitism [PDF file] From: CJDS Explaining the News to Our Kids Dramatic, disturbing news events can leave parents speechless. These age-based tips on how to …

OSRUI 2018 blog: A New Era for OSRUI

This summer, URJ Camp OSRUI welcomes its 3rd-largest enrollment in its 66-year history. In addition, OSRUI has welcomed all three of our rabbis and myself to serve on the segel (faculty) throughout the summer, supporting madrichim (counselors) as an extra set of eyes and ears, leading tfilah (prayer) and ivrit (Hebrew) experiences, and facilitating informal limmud (learning) components led by …

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 …