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College News

Below, you’ll find a list of all news and blog posts on the site in reverse chronological order.

Recent News

Spotlight: Rabinnical Student Koach Baruch Frazier
May 11, 2020

I definitely want to continue to be with the people who, in my eyes, are neglected by spiritual caretakers — people of color, queer folks, people who are at the margins, disabled folks. How can I best support, particularly spiritually, the people who have for many years been neglected? So wherever that happens to be, that’s where I will be.

The Four Children Of COVID-19
April 1, 2020

By Janine Jankovitz Pastor; Photo: eJewish Philanthropy

Originally published in eJewish Philanthropy on April 1, 2020

How to Have a Kid-Friendly, Meaningful Virtual Seder - Rabbi Tamara Cohen ('14)
March 31, 2020

If members of your crew seem a bit disappointed that this year will be different than all the others, remind them that this whole scenario is actually kinda fitting: Mitzrayim means “narrow place.” “We’re experiencing narrowing very literally right now,” Cohen says. “What we can take from that is not just a message about our own longing for liberation, but our responsibility to help others who are in places of constriction. In many ways, it’s the right holiday to have this happen.” Look on the bright side!

A Rabbi’s Cure for Coronavirus Anxiety - Rabbi Emily Cohen ('18)
March 17, 2020

“Now, I’m not a doctor, epidemiologist, sociologist, or psychologist. I’m a rabbi. I’m someone who does a lot of thinking about how to hold communities in moments of joy, fear, and pain — and, often, how to hold communities experiencing multitudes.”

A Moment of Crisis Can be an Opportunity for Connection - Rabbi Ari Witkin ('19)
March 12, 2020

…we at the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit, and the broad array of communal agencies we support, are grappling with what it means to navigate the programs and resources we offer amidst this unprecedented moment of public health concern.

Washington Jewish Week Spotlights Rabbinical Student Mikey Hess Weber
February 20, 2020

“I wanted to work at Hillel, and now I’m finally doing it. It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of,” she said. “Listening, building relationships, giving resources and texts along their Jewish journey.”

Rabbi Darby Leigh ('08) authors chapter in newly released book
February 18, 2020

Rabbi Leigh is one of few deaf rabbis in the world. As an expert in Torah, who has travelled extensively teaching Torah analysis, he could offer the full analysis of moving in deaf and non-deaf religious worlds.

Rabbinical Student Koach Baruch Frazier named LGBTQ Jewish Hero by Keshet
January 16, 2020

“I express my Jewish identity at the synagogue, at work as I serve people and my community, and through my social justice activism.” This includes drumming for justice “using my djembe — an African drum — that provided the cadence, much like a heartbeat, to help us as we marched in Ferguson.”

Rabbi Sandra Lawson (’18) named LGBTQ Jewish Hero by Keshet
January 16, 2020

“We are raising a generation of Jews to look past whomever their grandfathers’ rabbis were. One of the things I want the larger Jewish community to understand is that rabbis today are a diverse group. Many are people of color. Many are not straight. Many might be married to non-Jews. My difference, my diversity, is helping people become aware of that.”

Rabbi Sharon A. Kleinbaum ('90) Appointed to US Commission on International Religious Freedom
December 20, 2019

“We welcome the appointment of Rabbi Kleinbaum to USCIRF.” said Chair Tony Perkins. “Rabbi Kleinbaum is a widely recognized leader in both faith and politics, which will make her a great asset in the complex environment in which we advocate for communities and individuals around the world who are discriminated against or persecuted for their beliefs.”

Hate Knocks on the Door: What to do when your synagogue is vandalized? - Rabbi Shira Stutman ('07)
December 10, 2019

The door flew open, and there was Rabbi Shira Stutman.  She beamed, smiling and immediately embraced us. “Welcome,” she said, “welcome to Sixth and I.”

Panelists Discuss Being Trans in the Jewish Community - Rabbinical student, Koach Baruch Frazier
December 5, 2019

Frazier said that his Reform synagogue in Missouri, where he lived at the time, worked with him to create a meaningful mikvah transition ceremony at the river. He said his transition was more difficult for his work. “When I changed my name legally, everybody thought I got married,” Frazier said to laughs from the audience.

After years of pressure from advocates, Pa. House advances gift ban - Rabbi Michael Pollack ('17)
November 21, 2019

After years of pressure from advocates, leaders in Pennsylvania’s GOP-controlled state House are indicating they might be willing to substantially tighten the law governing legislative gifts.

Michael Pollack, a Philadelphia rabbi, has spent the last three years nonviolently agitating for a gift ban with the group March on Harrisburg.

The Growing Ranks of Female Scribes - Rabbi Bec Richman ('18)
October 10, 2019

Richman feels that there is a tension in her understanding of her craft. On one hand, it does feel “powerfully subversive” to do something denied to women for centuries; on the other hand, she does find meaning in tradition.

For artist-rabbi and his Baltimore flock, Rosh Hashanah means honoring the past before letting it go - Rabbi Douglas Heifetz ('05)
October 3, 2019

It’s no coincidence Heifetz, a 45-year-old Silver Spring resident, thought of turning the tradition into an exercise in art. About four years ago, he says, he felt a compulsion to “do something with my hands” and began experimenting with metal as an art form. Heifetz progressed from creatively bending silverware to molding and shaping metal, transforming spoons, copper wire and car trim into works of art.

Rabbinical student, May Ye, led a workshop on improving racial equality in Judaism
October 3, 2019

Ye led discussions on the intersection of social justice and spiritual space, and how to honor the wide variety of ethnic backgrounds that exist in Judaism.

Rabbi Amy Bernstein (‘97) featured in Tashlikh Reconstructed
September 24, 2019

“We accept the responsibility for changing and for changing this world. That is what people need to stay in hope. And without hope, there is no energy for no creative new solutions,” says Rabbi Amy Bernstein (‘97) in this moving video, Tashlikh Reconstructed.

Rabbi Michelle Stern ('11) honored as an outstanding young professional by Jewish Federation
September 23, 2019

The award, which was presented at the Federation’s Annual Meeting Sept. 17, recognizes Jewish professionals under 40 whose exemplary performance at a Jewish agency in the Chicago area has benefited the entire Jewish community.

‘We are all accountable’: Maryland’s Jewish community protests ICE in Howard County - Rabbi Ariana Katz ('18)
August 12, 2019

“We are all accountable for the violence that happens at our borders,” Katz said. “Showing up for others is actually an action you can do in a world that feels powerless.”

Rabbi Rachel Weiss ('09) was a keynote speaker at Evanston's first Pride Fest.
August 6, 2019

Keynote speakers included Rabbi Rachel Weiss of Evanston’s Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation. Weiss was raised in Evanston and said she is the town’s first lesbian rabbi. “I came back after college and my wife and I got married here in Evanston at the synagogue where I am now rabbi,” Weiss said.