Showing posts from September, 2020

Jewish In Times of COVID (And How I Survived It)

On March 7th, I got the call that our Purim carnival got cancelled. COVID was starting to really kick in, and the world started getting acquainted with the now famous phrase "in these uncertain times". We already had our costumes picked out, so the fact that the carnival, which is one of my favorite events of the year got cancelled, it really made me sad. At that point, however, it felt like a micro-problem: we are missing out on the carnival, we'll just get through this one and just wash our hands more often and not shake hands or hug when we see people. On March 13th, we got the email from the Superintendent of Schools that schools would be closing for two weeks. After that, it all started snowballing.  I had tickets to go to Chile on March 27th for my grandmother's 90th birthday. I was being told by people to change my ticket for later in the month, as the virus wasn't slowing down. As the date drew near, I got the email from the airline that my flight was canc

Why Jewish Leadership Needs To Start Early

The world today is a scary place. Beyond the obvious pandemic fears, we live during a time where not all lives matter, where people of color fear the streets, where women have to reconsider what they wear or where they go, and where speaking up for issues that matter puts you at unnecessary risk. It’s not the world that we planned when bringing children into, or what we envisioned growing up. It’s disappointing, maddening, and frustrating, but not unfixable (is that a word? Who cares, it’s a word today). Three years ago, I joined the staff at a wonderful congregation that was kind enough to give me a platform that allows me to do the work that I enjoy the most. Jewish leadership development has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I am not talking about Jewish leadership in terms of practice and ritual, but about the pillars of social justice and tikkun olam (repair the world). If you know me personally, you’ve heard me repeat the phrase “Jewish education is a non-ne

Why Today Was One Of The Hardest Days Of My Life

 I had been looking forward to my children going back to school since March 13th, which is the day we were informed school's would be closed due to the pandemic. I had been craving that silence, that routine, that moment where the kids would come home and tell me all about the awesome things they did at school (or in Ethan's case, how long the day is and how he would rather stay home playing video games). Every single day after March 13th, I would stare at my home waiting for the email from the Superintendent telling us that school was reopening, and that we could go back to normal.  The email never came, and normal wasn't "normal" anymore. Both kids would sit in front of computers and see their friends and teachers. While Lily would love it (albeit not really pay much attention), Ethan struggled. He is shy, and doesn't care to show his face on the screen. Adjusting to virtual learning took a lot of time, but we were blessed with a teacher who was so incredibl