201801 - January/February/March 2018

on Tuesday, 13 February 2018.

201801 - January/February/March 2018

Over the break, I tackled a number of old boxes that had been cluttering up my basement since I moved.  Over the break, I tackled a number of old boxes that had been cluttering up my basement since I moved to London in 2010. My goals were: 1) to condense to a small fraction of what had accumulated; 2) to locate some class notes and resources from HUC that might be useful; and 3) to capture some treasures from my 3 girls’ childhoods. Most of what I found, I had remembered I had stashed; a few, however, were very pleasant surprises.

Looking through my old school papers, I was humbled again how many teachers had touched my life.Through all the assignments, tests, and grades, I found encouragement and mentorship. A handful of educators had gone an extra mile to cultivate my intellect, and my voice. Little did I know how much I would use these communication tools in a career I could never have imagined for myself as a young adolescent.

 

201711 - November/December 2017

on Friday, 03 November 2017.

201711 - November/December 2017

Rabbi Debra Stahlberg Dressler

Thank you all for a wonderful High Holy Day season! All the incredible volunteers - from the choir to the shofar blowers - made this by far the smoothest and most spiritually engaging HHD yet. The new machzor prayer books, including a new service for Selichot, continue to enhance our worship and individual reflection during this introspective period each year.

 

201709 - September/October 2017

on Tuesday, 05 September 2017.

201709 - September/October 2017

A message from Rabbi Debra Stahlberg Dressler

It’s always a little backwards for Rabbis. Somewhere between January and June, we begin feel like weare having a “break.” Then Summer rolls around. When everyone else is saying, “Enjoy your break,” our thoughts and efforts turn back to the fall. Yes, we take time, and sometimes even remember to relax. But as each week of summer comes and goes, we feel that inevitable march toward the High Holy Days and the beginning of the school year.

201704 - Apr/May/Jun 2017

on Wednesday, 05 April 2017.

201704 - Apr/May/Jun 2017

A Message from Rabbi Debra Dressler

Over recent weeks, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities have all been targeted with violence, vandalism, hate speech, and other forms of bigotry. Even the bomb scares at numerous JCCs that are revealed to be hoaxes create stress, cost resources, and violate the sense of security we strive to provide our families despite the hard realities in the world around us. In London, we have not been immune. Two bomb hoaxes at our JCC, and vandalism at the Chaldean church, have brought the disturbing headlines to our own community.

 

201609 - Sep/Oct/Nov/Dec 2016

on Wednesday, 28 September 2016.

201609 - Sep/Oct/Nov/Dec 2016

In his book Arpelei Tohar (roughly, “mists of purity”), Abraham Isaac Kook* wrote:

“There are times when there is a need to violate the words of the Torah since there is no one in the

generation who can show the way [to do it permissibly]...”

201607 - July/August, 2016

on Thursday, 07 July 2016.

201607 - July/August, 2016

Representing the Jewish position on social issues within interfaith dialogue is often an interesting perspective. For example, the Jewish position on divorce is markedly different from Christianity, especially Catholicism; Judaism has always provided a mechanism for a marriage to end while still recognizing the heartbreak involved. Similarly, Judaism defines abortion in fundamentally different terms than Christianity or Islam. Even according to ancient Jewish law, a fetus has always had a different legal status than its mother, so terminating a pregnancy fell within many acceptable halachic mechanisms.