Reprinted from ReformJudaism.org
By Rabbi Leah Berkowitz
A few years ago, on the morning of Purim, I woke up with a rhyme in my head: I am not in the mood to dance, for I am in my comfy pants!
I had been wanting to write about Queen Vashti for a while. A big part of my rabbinate and my writing focuses on uplifting the stories of women in the biblical narrative, especially those who do not get enough attention.
Queen Vashti only gets a few sentences in the first chapter of the book of Esther, yet she has captured the imagination of rabbis, modern feminists, and fiction writers because she said "no" to a group of powerful men - including her husband.
We've got a sample of a lesson from Make, Create, Celebrate about Rosh Hashanah and its key theme of reflection.Read more »
Gratitude, or hakarat hatov, is an important value in Judaism, one with a direct connection to kindness. But putting the concept into specific words for young children can be difficult.Read more »
What’s the best gift you ever received? For the Jewish people, receiving the Torah ranks pretty high.This Shavuot, explore how to connect this gift to values-based learning
Pair stories from the weekly parashot to Jewish values and ethics you can incorporate into everyday life.Read more »
Kindness, or chesed, is mentioned in the Torah more than 200 times, indicating its importance in Judaism. We know what kindness is—what it feels like, what actions we associate with it, why we are drawn to it—but putting the concept into specific words for young children can be difficult.
Our new series Let’s Discover Kindness helps children in grades 1-2 explore kindness and the character traits—including gratitude, empathy, acceptance, and respect—that contribute to it, viewed through a Jewish lens. Each element is explored in its own four-page folder. One of the Big Ideas for the series is that kindness is a choice, something we can all decide to practice every day. Another Big Idea is that kindness makes the world better.
The learning takes place through activities such as role play, art, mindfulness, movement,