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Why I’ve Decided to Join a Synagogue
BY SOFI HERSHER for ReformJudaism.org
When I was 9 years old, I watched several large sections of my synagogue burn to the ground. It was 1999, and Sacramento, California, was in the midst of a spree of white supremacist violence that would claim the lives of two gay men, and see fires set to several synagogues and a local abortion clinic. I can still smell the smoke.
In times such as these, it is not just buildings that are damaged. Acts of hate damage our minds and our bodies, our individual and collective sense of security, our identity, and our place in the world. Back then, the entire congregation, as well as large swaths of the greater community, came together to rebuild. Events were held to reject discrimination; a hate crimes task force was launched; a library was remade. In many ways, Sacramento became a better place to live than it was before. In the aftermath of destruction, came collaboration and solidarity and hope.
How Hilde Bruch Brought Eating Disorders To The Forefront
By Isabel Kirsch for Fresh Ink for Teens
I hope one day we can eliminate the judgements surrounding women's bodies.
Editor's Note: Isabel Kirsch was a finalist for the Norman E. Alexander Award for Excellence in Jewish Student Writing. Nearly 70 contestants from around the country answered the following question: "Choose a living or deceased Jewish-American woman and write about her legacy in any field such as law, medicine, sports, politics, entertainment, and more. Why are her accomplishments meaningful to you?" The contest was sponsored by the Jewish-American Hall of Fame and The Jewish Week Media Group.
Descriptions of eating disorders date back centuries, yet it took until the 1970s for the pioneering research of doctor, psychologist and writer Hilde Bruch to bring the issue to public attention. Born in Germany in 1904, Bruch received her doctorate in medicine in 1929 and practiced in Germany until fleeing increasing anti-Semitism in 1933. She moved first to London and then to New York, becoming an American citizen in 1940. Beginning in the early 1940s, Bruch conducted groundbreaking research on childhood obesity and eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa.
Relating Ancient Judaism To The Modern Era
by: Noah Phillips for Fresh Ink for Teens
How American Jewish teens, like me, combine authentic customs with contemporary relevance.
Growing up in the 21st century, American Jewish teenagers are faced with the question of how to honor traditional rituals while modernizing other practices. Identifying with the world’s oldest monotheistic religion makes this process a bit challenging, especially for teens living in 2017.
Interestingly, or discouragingly, depending on perspective, most American Jewish teens today describe Judaism using terminology of an ethnic or cultural group, but not a religion. The 2016 report by The Jewish Education Project, “Generation Now: Understanding and Engaging Jewish Teens Today,” explains that the vast majority of non-Orthodox, American Jewish teens today consider religious practices as open to interpretation and adjustment.
Why Teenage Brains Are So Hard to Understand
By Alexandra Sifferlin for Time Magazine
The following story is excerpted from TIME's special edition, The Science of Childhood, which is available in stores, at the TIME Shop and at Amazon.
When Frances Jensen’s eldest son, Andrew, reached high school, he underwent a transformation. Frances’s calm, predictable child changed his hair color from brown to black and started wearing bolder clothing. It felt as if he turned into an angst-filled teenager overnight. Jensen, now the chair of the neurology department at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, wondered what happened and whether Andrew’s younger brother would undergo the same metamorphosis. So she decided to use her skills as a neuroscientist to explore what was happening under the hood. “I realized I had an experiment going on in my own home,” says Jensen, author of The Teenage Brain.
What Jewish College Students Really Care About
BY SARA WEISSMAN for The Jewish Week
Lesson 1: Jewish students don’t exist in a vacuum — or in a separate realm on campus comprised solely of Hillel BBQs and BDS protests.
"What do Jewish millennials want to read?”
“What’s going on in the minds of future Jewry?”
As the editor of New Voices, a national online magazine written by and for Jewish college students, I field these questions constantly — at conferences, Shabbat tables, blind dates and board meetings.
Thankfully, New Voices has always had a simple answer. And per Jewish tradition, our answer is actually another question: “What do Jewish millennials want to write?”
Did You Know...?
MAJYK 2017 is coming to Beth El?
The Mid-Atlantic Jr. Youth Kallah will be hosted by Beth El on December 15-17 to experience a taste of NFTY and learn about its traditions and lingo. In order to make this a success we need to find host families for 150-200 middle schoolers. Please contact our Youth Advisors, Nori and Marissa, to become a host family!
Beth El is raising funds for a new playground?
With seed money from Cantor Jason Kaufman's concert, the JCCNV was able to start a fund with all proceeds going towards a new playground for the preschool. If you would like to donate towards this very worthy project, simply send your donations to Beth El Hebrew Congregation and notate "Playground." If you donate on line, the playground fund is first on the list!
Wednesdays during the school year @ 7:00 PM
See calendar for exact dates and subjects
For more information about ALIVE! go to alive-inc.org.
Beth El House
For more information go to https://www.bethelhebrew.org/community/beth-el-house
Beth El House enables formerly homeless families to work toward self-sufficiency and confidence.
Wednesday, October 18
Life Long Learning
Sunday, October 22
Tuesday, October 24 & Wednesday, October 25
Wednesday, October 25
6:00 PM **DURING RELIGIOUS SCHOOL
Sunday, October 29
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Click above for more information
Saturday, December 2
7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Click above for more information
There are activities, meetings, services and seminars at Beth El each week, ranging from service opportunities to Jewish learning and education, drawing members and guests from throughout the Washington, D.C. area.