WRJ's Blog

Beside January representing the secular New Year, January is also the third anniversary I share with two dear friends. During the fall of 2013, Resa Davids, a long time member of WRJ, wanted to connect people in Israel to people in the United States with the goal of learning Hebrew.  There were no “rules” per say, whatever worked for each group was fine. For our group, she matched 3 people, 2 from Texas and 1 from Haifa. Rather, Deborah Nof of Haifa volunteered to teach two strangers across the world, Renee Roth and myself.

We began with a book called Aleph Isn’t Tough.  This was...

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This week begins the final portion of the book of Genesis, Parashat Va-y’chi, which deals with Jacob and his final blessings for his son Joseph and burial wishes preceding his death. We find Jacob in failing health, concerned with his legacy. Jacob makes Joseph promise to take him out of Egypt and bury him with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca in Canaan, near Hebron. “When I lie down with my fathers, take me up from Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” (Genesis 49:29-30) While on his deathbed, Jacob is consumed with thoughts of his legacy and is looking toward the future...

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National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month serves as a time to bring awareness to the issue of modern-day slavery: the trafficking in persons that occurs around the world and within communities in the United States. Human trafficking is the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. At least 20 to 30 million men, women, and children...

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Is any family doomed to relive a violent past, over and over again, or is there always chance for transformation and growth?

Leadership, transformation, treason, envy, self-interest, favoritism... In Parashah Vayigash we learn that Joseph was part of a dysfunctional family; brothers who sold him as slave. Even in such context, he is able to remain elevated. His actions are those of a compassionate leader, with focus on his own inner values as opposed to reacting to his siblings’ behavior.

When famine reached them, he knew how to offer help with dignity. He did not give help...

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As 2016 comes to a close, it’s important to reflect on the important strides for women’s equality. Over the past year, all combat jobs in the military were opened to women, and female U.S. Olympic athletes won more medals than male athletes in the Rio 2016 games, indicating a rise and emphasis on women’s athletics. It’s also important to reflect on the fact despite...

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