In My Own Words: Thinking about disability during Jewish Disability Month

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I remember the first time I accepted the label “disabled.” When I had what I now think of as my final drop in hearing, I continued to search for a medical solution. What I did not yet realize – or maybe was just unwilling to admit – was that I had a permanen…

In My Own Words: Book banning, review bombing and censorship

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

“The right to speak and the right to publish under the First Amendment has been interpreted widely to protect individuals and society from government attempts to suppress ideas and information, and to forbid government censorship of books, magazines, and newspaper…

From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With Gratitude 2/9/24

By Shelley Hubal

“Elmo is just checking in! How is everybody doing?”

With empathy, the beloved Sesame Street character Elmo posted this question recently on the social media platform X and opened a floodgate. More than 13,000 people responded and the post was viewed more than 180 milli…

The Israel-Hamas War first-hand: personal accounts, part II

By Bill Simons 

Many more accounts of lives impacted by the Israel-Hamas War await telling. Death has ended too many of those personal journeys. Others, including the three below, are in progress. 

Kfir Y Shoham is an undergraduate at Syracuse University, studying accounting and finance.…

The Israel-Hamas War first-hand: personal accounts, part I

By Bill Simons 

Life and death are more than an aggregation of statistics, particularly so in wartime. On both sides of the Israel-Hamas War, individual stories demand remembrance. No book, let alone a newspaper column, can capture the full canvas of lives impacted by war. With no claim to…