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Jewish Journal

  • Is There Something Wrong with a Joyful Funeral?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 21, 2012 | 7:00 am

    On Friday I attended a funeral at an African-American inner city church. Normally, I would expect to put the word “predominately” in there, but frankly, the only people in the overflowing sanctuary who didn’t look African-American were people I recognized from work.

    I was... read on

  • Stereotypes and Myths

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    November 14, 2012 | 7:00 am

    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 their families and to become “English,” or, in the language most of us would use, to adopt the... 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

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  • “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

  • 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

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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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