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In My Own Words: What defines our identity by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I’ve written before in this column that I have no desire to have my DNA tested. That non-desire has been confirmed by the fascinating book “The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are” by Libby Copeland (Abrams Press). Copeland’s book contains a great deal of scientific m…

In My Own Words: Identity by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I had difficulty at first remembering the new way to speak about my disability. Instead of saying, “I am hearing impaired,” I learned I was supposed to say, “I have a hearing impairment.” The idea was to change the way I defined myself – I am a person with a disability, rather than…

From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With Gratitude 5/15/20

A friend of the family recently passed from coronavirus. His devoted wife was unable to continue her daily visits to the nursing home where he had resided for several years. Desperate to be with him during his last days, her family placed a four-foot ladder outside his window. She put on a m…

In My Own Words: Lockdown by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Let me see if I have this correctly: being asked to stay in your homes in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 is the exact same thing as “men and women stripped completely naked, lined up and facing a mass grave, where they are shooting them in the back of the head and falling in the grav…

In My Own Words: Various personal, societal and political thoughts

Alone time

I’ve been rediscovering my inner introvert. I’m not exactly a hermit since most weekdays I communicate with Reporter staff via numerous e-mails over the course of the day. I’ve also had Skype/Zoom conversations with friends. (One of those is not new: the friend lives out of…