Saturday, December 15, 2012

Responding to Crisis on the Eighth Night of Chanukah

If, like I, you are finding yourself speechless after using words like “tragedy,” “devastation” and “disaster” so many times this fall, you may find some words to say by looking at the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland's “Responding to Crisis” website.

Some links you might find particularly useful:

How to respond to children and teens in a crisis generated by humans

Many of the quotes in the section “texts from our tradition” speak to me, but I particularly note one that we have been teaching our Sunday 3rd-5th graders at Emanu-El

Who is mighty?
                            One who conquers his evil impulse. 
            As it is written,
            Those who are slow to anger are better than the mighty,
            And those who rule over their spirit than those who conquer a city. 
                                                                                                                 PirkeAvot 4:1

Finally, many useful links in the resources section, and I sadly note that this one is helpful to know about right now:

Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of school shootings

This being the final evening of Chanukah, I thank all of you reading this for your dedication and rededication to keeping alive the flames of hope, courage, and faith. At times like these, I am so proud to belong to a tradition that for thousands of years has asserted that every human life is sacred and dared us to strive for a more righteous and more loving society. I know the metaphor of “passing along the torch” is a tired one, but when you are lighting the Shamash so your kid can light her menorah . . .

Thanks to Nachama Skolnik Moskowitz for posting a reminder about this resource to the NATE facebook group.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Emanu-El Religious School - 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage from England to New York City.  Coverage of Jewish interest is available on-line at the Forward (the original articles from 1912 were published in Yiddish, but don't worry - everything on the website is in English).

That year, our school newspaper (the 1912 Emanu-El Religious School Chronicle) featured poems written by our students in response to this tragedy, with titles like "Ode to the Heroes who Perished on the 'Titanic.'"   According to that venerable news source, Wikipedia:

"The immediate aftermath of the sinking saw an outpouring of poetry, though much of it was dismissed by The New York Times as 'worthless' and 'intolerably bad.'"
I am sharing with you two of the better poems, written by H. Reinheimer in Class II and by Vera K. in Class I.  If this event has been on the minds of the children in your household (or perhaps even if not), you may wish to read these together.  I think they do a fine job of telling the story and expressing its significance to our community.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Where will you find your next job?

On a Google group, called "הזדמנויות."

Since May of 2009, Martin Kaminer has been posting job opportunities on Hizdamnuyot (Hebrew for "opportunities") on an almost daily basis.  Many, but by no means all, are in Jewish organizations and/or non-profits in the United States; listings range from senior management to administrative assistants and teachers.  It costs nothing to join the group and, even more incredibly, if you are an employer, and Martin thinks your job opening will be of interest to his subscribers, he'll post your listing free of charge.

No one is really sure how Martin finds the time to do this, but then again, no one is really sure about lots of things about this "unsung hero of Jewish start-ups."

Join the group by registering at  Publicize a job opportunity by sending Martin an email at  It is that easy.