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In My Own Words: “God loves me”

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

“God loves you. I want to hear you say, ‘God loves me.’ Yes, out loud. ‘God loves me.’” I’ve only said this to one person, someone I felt needed to hear it. Those words were said in the context of the chaplaincy work I do with individuals who have dev…

A “death gratuity” for shooting victims

By Prof. Jonathan Karp

Among the victims of the July 4 Hyde Park mass shooting were Irina McCarthy, 35, and Kevin McCarthy, 37, the parents of a 2-year-old, Aiden. Although with them at that fatal July 4 parade, miraculously, Aiden was not struck by the gunfire that slaughtered his mother a…

In My Own Words: Contradictions

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Contradiction #1

“No one can tell me what to do with my body. It’s mine and I demand complete autonomy over it.” Two different groups have made this claim, but each focuses on a different issue. I’m betting most readers will guess one or the other, but can…

From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With Gratitude 7/1/22

By Shelley Hubal

One of my favorite psychologists and meditation teachers is Tara Brach, Ph.D. In her teachings on self-compassion, Dr. Brach uses the acronym “RAIN,” which stands for “Recognize, Allow, Investigate and Nurture.” All of us experience emotional pain at some point in o…

In My Own Words: The unspeakable

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

The request came in an e-mail: the person asked if I would review the book “Chosen: A Memoir of Stolen Boyhood” by Stephen Mills, which tells of how Mills was sexually abused by the director of the Jewish summer camp he attended. The person who wrote the e-mail …