There it was. In the darkness of the early morning, she heard someone knocking on the cafeteria door. Carolyn Collins, a custodian at Tucker High School, just outside Atlanta, was about to take out the trash – but the knock at the door stopped her. She put down the full garbage can and cautiously opened the door. There were two Tucker students, a boy and girl, looking at her nervously. “Can we come in?” the boy asked. “Me and my sister are getting tired of waiting outside.”
The students, it seemed, were living with their mother in a car. She’d...
Shabbat shalom. My name is Stacey Ashlund, and I have 2 children that grew up here at Beth Am - Amelia is 16 and Brendan is 19. My son is now a sophomore at Lewis and Clark college in Portland, OR. When he was born, and soon after, we learned he was profoundly deaf and would lose his vision also, due to a rare genetic disorder called Usher Syndrome. Some of you may have heard Rebecca Alexander speak here a few months ago about her experience losing her vision and hearing. It is a devastating diagnoses for the individual as...
Hi. My name is Lexi Tuch. I am a senior at Kehillah Jewish High School, and I have been a
volunteer with Friendship Circle since I was a freshman. Friendship Circle is an organization
which matches Jewish teens with children with severe developmental disabilities and creates
programming for them twice a month. These pairs are called buddies. For the children, this gives
them an opportunity to be social and join an accepting and unique community. For the teens, this
can be an eye opening experience that can completely change their perspective.
Throughout my time in...
In our Confirmation Class—much as in life—we learned about some fundamental Jewish concepts, and then would wrestle to better understand the complexities inherent in each of them. What I especially appreciated about each of our sessions together, was that no single concept had a single truth or understanding. Judaism gives us a wide spectrum of possible beliefs.
The spiritual path of faith -- in Hebrew, Emunah -- was one which deeply touched me. I have lived a good deal of my life trying to better understand this concept and how it applies to life in general, to relationships with other...
In our Confirmation class we explored a range of Jewish spiritual paths. I realized that many of them involve giving or doing for others. For example – giving tzedaka, performing acts of loving kindness (chessed), supporting the Jewish community (K’lal Yisrael). And I have long believed that acting to help others defines both a good Jew and a good person.
Every year at Rosh Hashanah the Jewish community asks – How can I do better? I always see this as a call for me to look at ways that I can do more for others. However, this year at Rosh...