How to be Jewish at Christmas

I think of the Jews of the Beit Alpha synagogue as I sit here in my New York City apartment, watching our Christmas tree being hoisted, the boxes of lights and ornaments in heaps, the child scampering in excitement, orchestrating, advising — kibitzing, as my father would say. I cannot imagine that the 6th-century men of the Beit Alpha community decided on …

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Loving Judaism but questioning Israel

  If politics are personal, then let me say this. I love almost everything about the Judaism I practice: Born into a Jewish family, but raised without any formal religious education, I have in recent years become a member of a Reform synagogue in Brooklyn. I love singing the ancient prayers. I love our rabbis and the families in the …

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The Cost of Being Jewish

How the recession affects religion. It sounds like a Catskills-era joke with a Jewish lawyer in the punchline, but among Jewish leaders it’s deadly serious. Why does it cost so much to be Jewish? At a time when American families are tightening household budgets, does it really make sense to continue to charge thousands of dollars to participate in Jewish …

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