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In My Own Words: A new beginning? by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Editor’s note: This column was written before the January 6 events in Washington, DC. 

A new beginning? Does anyone really believe that 2021 and a new presidency really means a new beginning? Americans believe that we can always start anew, leaving the old behind like clothes we discard.…

In My Own Words: Looking back at 2020 by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

When looking back at the first essay I wrote for this column in 2020, I almost laughed. The column wished a happy good-bye to 2019. At that time, I was glad to see the end of 2019 because of family problems, particularly the fact that my mother now lived in a nursing home. Little did I know …

In My Own Words: Slogans and nuance by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Slogans can be great: a few words or a short phrase can give us the essence of a matter. Sometimes, though, they can be counterproductive, especially if you think about them in any depth. After all, what does “Coke: It’s the real thing” mean? We think we know because the ads featuring …

From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With gratitude 12/18/20

Good-bye 2020! This year, we saw the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, a worldwide pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of U.S. lives alone and sent our economy into a tailspin, a divisive U.S. presidential election like no other, and nationwide unrest as we struggle to define our…

In My Own Words: Surviving the holidays by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

For my part-time chaplaincy job, I recently taped a 10-minute video about grieving and loss that was sent out to staff members. When I introduced myself, I found myself speaking about two different identities, saying that some people know me as a chaplain and others as the sister of my late …