Jewish Journal

  • Women rabbis at forefront of pioneering prayer communities

    by Anthony Weiss, JTA

    6 days ago

    A decade ago in Los Angeles, two organizations opened their doors with a call to prayer — or they would have if they had any doors to open.

    Ikar, led by Rabbi Sharon Brous, and Nashuva, led by Rabbi Naomi Levy, were conceived separately. But when they launched in 2004, both...

  • Why Chanukah matters

    By Jared Sichel

    1 week ago

    There’s a certain narrative about Chanukah that has become near conventional wisdom among American Jews, and it goes like this:

    Chanukah is a fun holiday that is big in America, thanks to its proximity to Christmas. But really, it’s a “minor” holiday that is more impactful...

  • Teaching the value of giving in the season of getting

    By Ryan Torok

    1 week ago

    The gift-giving tradition that these days is so strongly connected with Chanukah can be a mixed blessing. Often, preceding the joy of hitting the right note with a gift are days fraught with the pressure to find it. There’s also the question of how much to spend, and what kinds of...
  • Getting gelt was good as gold

    by Edmon J. Rodman, JTA

    1 week ago

    What can a buck get you on Chanukah? Maybe a gold mesh bag of chocolate coins or a lighter for your menorah. But Jewish continuity?
    At a time, when we get so wrapped up in gift giving, I propose that it’s a single dollar of gelt (Yiddish for money) that has the power to keep...
  • Should Chanukah in Israel be more commercialized?

    By Orit Arfa

    1 week ago

    I have a confession to make. (Well, maybe “confession” isn’t exactly the best word to use.) Forgive me, Jewish mother, for I have sinned. When I was 8, I hid a plant in my closet. No one knew about it — not my sisters, not my parents. It was my makeshift Christmas tree. 
  • Oil, the bad and the sweet-smelling good of it

    by Sarah Newman

    1 week ago

    Chanukah is a holiday where we consume lots of oil-drenched foods. But beyond these dishes, what is the connection between oil and Chanukah? Actually, a lot, and it has to do with our agricultural system.
    We till the same soils through which God breathed Adam into existence....
  • The convert and the Christmas tree

    By Avishay Artsy

    1 week ago

    For me, Christmas was always something other people did. Growing up in a Jewish home, I watched the holiday’s rituals unfold in movies, on TV and in the homes of friends: hanging ornaments on a tree, unwrapping presents and singing songs of Yuletide cheer (whatever that means)....

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