The rabbis and cantor of Congregation Or Ami sent this letter about sexual violence to our adult congregants, our 9th-12th graders, recent high school graduates (18-22 year olds), and our faculty. We also sent a note to parents of 7th-12th graders with suggestions on conversations with their children.
I’m up at 3:30 am, jetlagged.
A Spoken Word Commentary
In a land that oozes holiness, watching my wife Michelle, a long distance lover of Israel, rediscover the Holy Land has been fascinating.
Celebrating Israel’s 70th birthday on an airplane to Israel and thinking about this spiritual ascension.
Quoting Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), exploring the metaphors of light and darkness, moving with ease back and forth between Israel’s Galilee and California’s Calabasas, Rabbi Or and Feliza Zohar at once teach and transform, explicate sacred texts and invigorate souls.
The Parent-Teen Mental Health and Wellness Summit realized a dream: to transform our synagogue, Congregation Or Ami (Calabasas), into a truly safe place for teens, their unique emotional journeys, and the parents who love but are unsure of how to protect them.
Why did Congregation Or Ami focus our energies on creating a mental health and wellness retreat? Because today's teens are particularly stressed out, overwhelmed by anxiety, buffetted by the emotional turmoil engendered by social media. They crave support and relief.
Rabbi Paul Kipnes and Rabbi Joshua Aaronson have engaged in a spirited rivalry over Super Bowl LII between the Patriots and the Eagles. Winning Rabbi gets bragging rights, and delicious delicacies for their synagogue's oneg, and the loser donates tzedakah to URJ Camp Newman's #NewmanStrong fund.
Adulthood arrives later than when we were kids. When young people take more real responsibility not only for their own lives, but also for those around them, and for their community, country and world, they begin to manifest a level of maturity that evidences approaching adulthood.
When Jews and Baha’is sat down to break bread, the similarities were astounding and the discussions delicious.
How Congregation Or Ami Answered the Call to Feed and Care for a Temple Facing the Ventura Fires
It is time for us to lift the veil of silence around mental illness, talking about it and our mental health journeys. Especially in the Jewish community.
A mother speaks about her appreciation that the Congregation Or Ami and its rabbis offered deep support for their daughter on her battle with depression.
Teen Dani, an 11th grader, shared her mental health journey (through depression) to an overflowing synagogue on Yom Kippur.
The mother died four days after her daughter became Bat Mitzvah. And then I had it out with God.