From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With Gratitude 12/1/23

By Shelley Hubal

“From a place of deep pain we hold strong for you, Omer. We speak in your name tirelessly, we hope and we pray and we act, and I want to believe that our prayers and actions have power. “ – Orna Neutra, mother of Omer Neutra, one of the 240 hostages held by Hamas.

In My Own Words: Keep the lights burning

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

After a depressing Hanukkah during the first year of the pandemic, I worked hard to make certain I had a good holiday in 2021 and ‘22. That included getting presents all eight nights (something that never happened when I was a kid) and lighting all my menorahs th…

In My Own Words: Petitions, statements and no answers

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I looked at the list of people who had signed the petition: many of them were rabbis I greatly admire and whose thoughts I cherish. However, something in me said, “No, I can’t sign a petition calling for a ceasefire in the war against Hamas until the hostages a…

Veterans Day 2023

By Bill Simons

The May 4, 1943, edition of The Daily Item (Lynn, MA), published the soldier profile accompanying this article. From that clipping, a young soldier, across the decades, looks at us with confidence. Reference to the private’s induction neglects to note that he was not a draf…

In My Own Words: The legislation won’t make them or us go away

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The Associated Press article talked about the legislation being passed in states across the country that bans centers/groups dedicated to “diversity, equity and inclusion” at colleges and universities. The underlying idea is to rid campuses of organizations tha…