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In My Own Words: Collective illusions and society

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I recently read an interesting book on the sociology of social theory called “Collective Illusions: Conformity, Complicity and the Science of Why We Make Bad Decisions” by Todd Rose. I found the book fascinating, especially when it exposed my biases and my inabi…

Meir Kahane and the Jewish Defense League, part I

By Bill Simons

It was 1973, a time, like our own, of resurgent antisemitism. The residents at 704 Hauser Street in the Astoria section of Queens, New York City, found a swastika spraypainted on their front door. An accompanying note read: “This is just the beginning. We’ll be back.” F…

From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With gratitude 4/8/22

By Shelley Hubal

When we see the images of Ukrainian people fleeing for their lives with little more than the clothes on their backs, we can’t help but be reminded of the Exodus of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. As of this writing, more than four million refugees have left their…

In My Own Words: Looking back on my rabbinate

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I never had a bat mitzvah. In fact, I’m a Hebrew school dropout. I have led services, read Torah and taught an adult b’nai mitzvah class, all without calling attention to that fact. Oh, and I graduated from rabbinical school too. I had thought of leading a Shab…

In My Own Words: Hate crimes

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Most Jewish newspapers have been focusing on the current wave of antisemitic attacks on Jews. That coverage is extremely important since if we don’t stand up for ourselves, who else is going to come to our aid? But we will never be truly safe in this country until…