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In My Own Words: Book burning

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

On June 17, 1242, King Louis IX and Pope Gregory IX ordered that every copy of the Talmud on French soil be burned. The reason for this destruction was that the work contained sayings and sentiments they believed were offensive. Since this was before the printing pr…

In My Own Words: Guilt by association

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

First, let’s be clear: Jeffrey Epstein was a pedophile and a loathsome excuse for a human being. Why do I feel the need to say that before writing about a business associate of his? Because it seems like we are now condemning people as guilty by association. 

Th…

From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With gratitude 11/19/21

By Shelley Hubal

My grandparent’s home on Wedgewood Terrace in DeWitt, NY, was the center of our large Jewish family. With three first cousins, multiple second cousins, scores of aunts and uncles, and one neighborhood family that we adopted as our own, my sisters and I never ran out of pl…

In My Own Words: My electronic scare

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Electronics make our lives wonderful – that is, when they work. Those of us who depend on them due to disabilities can start to take them for granted, at least until they don’t work. That happened to me the other month with my cochlear implant.

Since the pandem…

In My Own Words: Continuing to live in a pandemic

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman 

“I don’t think we’re ever going back to normal. I think we’re all going to have to decide how much risk we’re willing to take.” That quote paraphrases what a friend said to me recently when we were talking about the continuing COVID pandemic. She has a…