Executive Editor Stream

Off the Shelf: Outsiders of the shtetl by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

An idealized view of the shtetl used to exist in the American mind – a wonderful place, filled with happy, observant Jews who lived joyous Jewish lives. Over the past several decades, scholars have been disputing that view, showing that shtetl life was more complex and far from perfect. A …

Off the Shelf: Women’s roles and history by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Ever wonder what would happen if characters from different novels were to meet? In the case of those featured in this review, there would be arguments about the role women should play in public and private life. However, that is not their only purpose: the authors also portray Jewish life in…

In My Own Words: Anger by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

There is an enormous amount of anger boiling across the United States. Some people are angry at what they see as restrictions on their rights to act, think or behave as they wish. Others are angry because they don’t believe they have the same protection under the law due to their skin colo…

In My Own Words:Statute of limitations and the High Holidays

by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

A 19-year-old Jewish college student dropped out of a state house race after admitting to harassing female students when he was in middle school. A non-Jewish doctor was fired from two training programs and her medical training certificate was revoked because of ant…

Off the Shelf: Family, friends and love by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Sometimes the way you feel about a book depends not only on your mood, but what else you’ve read recently. Before reading the novels in this review, I’d been actively engaged in two different, very exciting fantasy series. The second in one series ended with a cliff hanger and I so wante…