November 20, 2018

The Connection and Community We Crave

“I just returned home from our first trip to Israel. I’m 45 years old and converted to Judaism at the age of 24. I was raised with Christmas but without religion. I was shomer Shabbos for 11 years and have been just Jewish for the past six.

My husband is born and bred west Rogers Park. He went to Ihop on Saturdays as a child and graduated from Brisk Yeshiva, valedictorian in a class that numbered two. His brother made aliyah as a teenager. My husband went to DePaul University and worked at the J.

We are raising four children who have attended Jewish and secular preschools, day school and public school, Jewish and secular camps. We are no longer members of a shul, but are guests of dear friends for every holiday meal, and our daughter has joined her University’s Chabad community. We are today’s Jewish family.

As the new CEO for JCC Chicago, getting to Israel was top on my list. That the General Assembly was being held in Tel Aviv presented an opportunity just a couple months into my tenure. I joined the Chicago delegation and, at the suggestion of my Jewish Federation colleagues, invited my husband to join me. We added a few days before and after to experience the homeland of the Jewish people.

Our trip was scheduled to provide a baseline. Trip must-sees included: Caesarea, Jaffa, Masada, Jerusalem, the Independence Hall exhibition, Yad Vashem, the Israel Museum, City of David, Old City, Western Wall tunnels. And more.”

Read more

JJ Best Of The Web

"Military relations in the transatlantic alliance are humming. Yet an intangible but palpable crisis is shaking the foundations of NATO – and it has brought the organization to a moment of reckoning."

"With the midterm election a week-plus behind us — well, mostly behind us, as Democrats continue to try to steal seats in certain locations — it is time to take a look ahead at what we are facing over the next two years."

"Leaving the ultra-Orthodox community is nothing new in Israel. Everyone, secular or religious, knows someone who used to be on, but is now “off the derech.” But the phenomenon hasn’t been well studied."

"Post Malone’s music is dead-eyed and ignorant, astonishingly dull in its materialism, an abandoned lot of creativity with absolutely no evidence of traffic in his cerebral cortex — and there’s also a negative side..."

"Having assessed over 2,000 CEOs and over 18,000 C-suite leaders since 1995, we are struck by how often careers of talented executives stall or even derail because of seemingly trivial issues, many of which are utterly fixable."

"While the revelation of an apparent indictment against Julian Assange sets an ominous precedent for news organizations, it also serves as a reminder of his group’s stark transformation."

"Through classes and workshops, men across the United States are attempting to unlearn "toxic masculinity"—for society and for themselves."

"While many books experience sweeping popularity, Ferrante’s novels are part of a subgroup of pop culture that compels people to travel. Tour groups like Looking for Lila and Ferrante Fever Naples have popped up across Naples..."

"E-cigarettes may help tobacco smokers quit. But the alluring devices can swiftly induce a nicotine habit in teenagers who never smoked. This is the tale of one person’s struggle."

"As thrilled as I am to be hosting (and therefore not to have to deal with one of the busiest travel days of the year), I’ll be honest: I’m a little stressed out. "

"Humanity is on the verge of a weighty achievement. On Friday, representatives of more than 60 nations will convene in Versailles, France, to approve a new definition for the kilogram."

"Be connected, be still, and be satisfied -- my 3 essential principles of Shabbat do more for me than all the halacha I learned to be a rabbi."