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In my own words: Judaic and ethnic studies

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Although specific groups in the United States may have always had an interest in ethnic studies, most formal programs only began to flourish during the late 1960s, particularly in colleges and universities. The Judaic Studies Department at Binghamton University bega…

In My Own Words: A guaranteed day off

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Remember the Blue Laws? For readers who are too young to remember, the Blue Laws meant that businesses and stores were required to be closed on Sundays. In their strictest form, many leisure activities were also forbidden and alcohol was not allowed to be served in …

From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With Gratitude 1/27/23

By Shelley Hubal

Grandma Hannah had a ceramic studio in her basement on Wedgewood Terrace. For years, she taught lessons several nights a week. I remember her students, mostly women, sitting around large tables in the dusty basement. They would schmooze and smoke cigarettes while scrubbing…

Zelensky, a David for our times: “I need ammunition, not a ride.”

By Bill Simons

For those who value freedom, the last two years started badly. On January 6, 2021, a violent mob stormed the U.S. Congress, intent on overturning the presidential election. And on February 24, 2022, Russia mounted an invasion of Ukraine, expecting to emulate Adolf Hitler’s …

In My Own Words: My life as a reader

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

“Wait! You read the books!” 

That quote was an answer to a comment I made about the books I review for the paper. It’s not the first time someone was surprised by that I actually read the books: my other friend thought I just skimmed them. I confess to peri…