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In My Own Words: Thoughts about dead Jews

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Did anyone else ever read the Anne Frank quote, “I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart,” and wonder if Frank would have felt the same after being taken to the concentration camp where she died? Dara Horn has. She has diffic…

From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With gratitude 10/08/21

By Shelley Hubal

Big Mama is a majestic pine tree that lives by a small bend on the Vernal Pool Trail at the Binghamton University Nature Preserve. My family gave the tree that name many years ago when we started hiking the preserve on a regular basis. You can’t miss its thick, twisted ro…

In My Own Words: Afghanistan

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman


Ever have so many confusing thoughts about an issue that you feel like you are being pulled in two different directions? That’s the way I feel about the war in Afghanistan: not just the end of the war, which is what most people are concentrating on, but the wa…

What are our government’s responsibilities?

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman


What are our government’s responsibilities to its citizens? It was a comment by a Pennsylvania lawmaker that made me think about this question. Rep. Jim Cox, chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee, complained that Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration s…

A lesson of the High Holidays

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman 

No one is perfect. In fact, Judaism doesn’t expect us to be perfect. If you’re shaking your head wondering how I came to that conclusion, it’s simple: Yom Kippur, a day when we’re required to confess our sins. The verses found in the book of Leviticus call…