Jewish Journal

  • Searching for Passover Hobbits

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    April 16, 2014 | 1:30 am

    “Ray is annoyed by the search for hobbits,” my husband said, referring to his friend who, like my husband, is not Jewish but is married to someone who is.

    “Hobbits?” I asked.

    “Yes,” he confirmed.

    “Why is he looking for hobbits?” I inquired, I thought, quite reasonably.

    “You... read on

  • Wobbly Webinars

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    April 9, 2014 | 1:30 am

    Webinars are all the rage these days. It seems like every institution I run into that has anything to do with education wants to use webinars in some way. Which would be great, but for some of them, it appears they’re just trying to jump on the bandwagon without understanding the... read on

  • Is Britain Adopting Sharia Inheritance Laws?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    March 26, 2014 | 1:30 am

    The Telegraph recently published the misleadingly titled, “Islamic Law is Adopted by British Legal Chiefs” about some “guidance” published by The Law Society about how to write British Wills in accordance with Sharia law.

    These days, anything that has to do with Sharia law in a... read on

  • Tough Shiva Questions

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    March 19, 2014 | 1:30 am

    I’m a volunteer who, on occasion, will lead a shiva minyan for my synagogue. I took a couple of classes on how to do it, and I attended a few shiva services as an observer. The service is similar to Shabbat services, but shorter, so anyone who’s a regular at services could do it.... read on

  • Children of Intermarriage Want to Engage

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    March 12, 2014 | 1:30 am

    Amid all the hoopla about the Pew Study, another recent study by Big Tent Judaism and the Jewish Outreach Institute called, “Listening to the Adult Children of Intermarriage” seems to have gone unnoticed. The subtitle, “What Jews With One Jewish Parent Need and Want From the Jewish... read on

  • New Game Helps People Talk About Dying

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    March 5, 2014 | 12:30 am

    Our chevra kadisha meets on a monthly basis. Because of the volunteer work we do visiting the sick, comforting mourners, and preparing the dead for burial, it’s not uncommon for us to have conversations related to death and dying. I wasn’t sure, then, what the outcome would be when... read on

  • Why Not Follow All the Mitzvot?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    February 19, 2014 | 12:30 am

    My blog post last week, Why Reform Judaism Does Work, received a lot of views and comments. A few of the comments were from me, in response to questions readers asked.

    Responding to comments is always a tricky thing. One can say something in the moment, then think of a better... read on

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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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