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Jewish Journal

Stereotypes and Myths

By Susan Esther Barnes

November 14, 2012 | 7:00 am

Two stereotypes refuted: The Reform movement jettisoned the Torah, and Reform services invariably attract a disproportionate number of women, to the detriment of men.

I was recently watching an episode of “Breaking Amish,” an unscripted show about four young Amish and one Mennonite person who go to New York to decide whether to give up the ways of... read on

  • Sudden Death

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 7, 2012 | 7:00 am

    As a rule, I don’t write about work. But rules are meant to be broken, and some things cannot, or at least should not, be ignored.

    On Monday morning I learned that a bright, well-liked 26-year-old employee had died. She is survived by three small children. She seemed fine at work... read on

  • “It Was God’s Will” – Says Who?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    October 31, 2012 | 8:00 am

    I recently came across an article by Sarah Sentilles called, “Rape and Richard Mourdock’s Semi-Omnipotent God.” In it, she takes Richard Mourdock to task for his statement that a pregnancy caused by rape is “something God intended.” She’s in good company there. What intrigued me... read on

  • Beginning the Visioning Process

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    October 24, 2012 | 8:00 am

    Our synagogue is launching a visioning process this fall. We are using what looks to me like the Action Research Model. The plan is to hold a series of community conversations in which we ask as many congregants as possible what our strengths are, what our challenges are, and what... read on

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  • CERT Training

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    October 17, 2012 | 8:00 am

    I don’t remember how I heard about it, but several weeks ago I signed up for CERT training, which I just finished this weekend. CERT is an acronym for “Community Emergency Response Team.”

    The idea is that, in case of a large emergency like a major earthquake, the professional... read on

  • Islands of Sanity

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    October 10, 2012 | 8:00 am

    I have been working all kinds of extra hours, stressing about deadlines, workflow processes, what is going to fall between the cracks, how bad it’s going to be when we discover what we missed, etc. But I’m not feeling overwhelmed. Part of the reason for that is I’m naturally... read on

  • Suddenly Sukkah

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    October 3, 2012 | 7:00 am

    Saturday afternoon my husband and I went to a friend’s house for a birthday party. While we were there, one of the family mentioned they were going to an amusement park the next day, and asked if we wanted to come along.

    “I can’t,” I said, “I’m going to help build a sukkah... read on

  • Returning to Ourselves

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    September 25, 2012 | 8:00 am

    During the High Holy Days, one of the words we hear about the most often is “T’shuvah.” This is the time to make t’shuvah. The Shabbat that falls between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shuvah. Often translated as repentance, t’shuvah also means to turn, or to... read on

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Susan Esther Barnes is a religious Reform Jew who can regularly be seen greeting people at her synagogue before services. She is a founding member of her synagogue’s chevra...

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