I wrote this letter to my son in response to the antisemitism we’ve been experiencing in Montclair and our nation. I wrote this letter in time for Shabbat. I plan to read it to him at our Shabbat dinner and insist he puts it away in safe keeping somewhere in his room. I hope my letter helps others discuss antisemitism with their children. Continue reading
On Feb 26, 2022, my family hosted the kiddush for Brian’s 10th birthday party – first time double digits is an exciting chapter! The moment we entered synagogue, congregants wished Brian a happy birthday. Rabbinic Intern, Lily Lucy, welcomed us into the Hinei Ma Tov JLC event, by wishing Brian a good birthday and pointing out to the other students that the birthday table covers, balloons and food items were all set up so that the congregation could celebrate Brian entering his double-digit birthday. It made Brian feel so special. Continue reading
At Congregation Shomrei Emunah, we value helping others and trying to make our communities better. I helped organize Shabbat Across Shomrei for the last three years. For this event, congregants sign up to participate for a shabbat dinner as either a host or guest. This requires people to open their homes to congregants they don’t know.
“Music helps us listen to each other,” said Joey Weisenberg, our musical Scholar-In-Residence who came to lead our Shabbat services on Fri March 1st. Joey Weisenberg is most recently the Creative Director of Mechon Hadar’s Rising Song Institute which aims to bring more inclusiveness to Jewish prayer and singing across the nation. He is a multi-instrumental musician, singer and composer who works with regular congregants in shuls across the nation in an effort to make music a joy filled experience that can be easily accessed by all.
Editor’s note: This article was inspired by the November 19 @nourish talk that Naz participated in.
It’s the month of December, and my 4&½ year old asks, “Mommy, is the whole world Jewish?”
“Who’s not Jewish?”
“Your dad’s not Jewish. And Grandpa’s not Jewish.”
“Do they celebrate Christmas?”
“Yes, if they want to.”
“So can I celebrate Christmas?”
It’s the holiday time, and us Jewish women who are married to non Jews, begin to worry that our faith will be eclipsed by the jingles of Santa’s bells and the twinkling Christmas lights. It’s during Christmas time that our children seem to remember that there are other faiths within their own family constructs, and determine rather quickly that, regardless of what their Jewish mommies want, they have choice and access to other religious value systems and rituals. Continue reading
Most of my life, I have not taken part in the Jewish community. I was born in Iran during the revolution and was heavily influenced by the Islamic regime. To this day, the Muslim call to prayer and wearing a scarf on my head bring me comfort and a longing for something long ago. Once I came to America, my Iranian/Iraqi mother remarried a Greek man and we participated in many Greek Orthodox holidays and rituals. The Greek Orthodox church in Greece and Queens, NY is where I socialized as a teenager well into my early 20’s. And then there was that year I studied in India where I was greatly comforted by Buddhism and had learned from Buddhist monks. I was born a Jew and both my parents are Jewish. But it was really the influences of Islam, Christianity and Buddhism that have built me up in some way and have woven themselves into my adult life.
Now I am at Congregration Shomrei Emunah and I’m hoping to build my Jewish roots here. Continue reading