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In My Own Words: Mixed feelings by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I have mixed feeling about New York state’s legalization of marijuana. Before I write about those feelings I should make a few things clear:

1) I have never used marijuana in any form.
2) I have many friends who have used it with no harmful effects. 
3) I have long supported the medical …

In My Own Words: The first months by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I suddenly realized that I hadn’t written anything about President Joe Biden since he’s taken office. That’s not because I agree with everything he’s done. I’m reserving judgment on some of his policies, particularly as they reference Israel and the Middle East. I do like the fact …

From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With gratitude 4/9/21

I have been walking circles around the inside of my house for months now. If you were to peek in the window, you would see what looks like a crazy person, walking around and around the living room furniture. This ritual started in December. COVID made going to the gym impossible and it was, …

In My Own Words: Viewing immigration from the other side

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The political debates about immigration continue and it’s unlikely the issue will ever be completely resolved – if only because each generation of Americans faces a different set of circumstances. What we rarely talk about during these debates is what these immi…

In My Own Words: Idealistic vs. realistic politics by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The last time I wholeheartedly admired a politician was Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. That’s one reason I’ve never read any books about him: I don’t want to know anything that might tarnish his image in my mind. From that time on, I’ve admired people’s actions, but never expected them…