Year of Growth Draft
Year of Growth Draft
Welcome back from your JWRP trip! We are excited to invite you to help us pilot a thrilling new Jewish journey of learning, connection and action.
Welcome back from  your JWRP trip  We are excited to invite you to  help us pilot a thrilling new Jewish journey of  learn...
Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim 3 What’s in this Booklet? As you connected with your sisters on the JWRP trip, you realized that so much more unites us than divides us, especially our Jewish values. The booklet you are holding is the beginning of a year-long learning journey that focuses on twelve of those values, each associated with a specific month and often a Jewish holiday as well. This pilot booklet has three sections, each featuring a Jewish value: 1 Sukkot Welcoming Guests – Hachnasat Orchim 2 Thanksgiving Gratitude – Hakarat Hatov 3 Sisterhood and Unity – Achdut We invite you to delve into the learning and try out the activities in each section, which are designed to help you put these Jewish values into practice, and impact your personal growth, your family, and your community. We hope you will also give us feedback on your experiences, so that the completed book will inspire and meet the needs of JWRP sisters across the world. Each section of the booklet is designed to inspire your group to explore a specific Jewish value. The sections include Jewish texts, thought and discussion questions, and writing exercises, as well as a chart that helps you consider where you are with the value and how you want to bring it further into your life. Writing activities during the session invite you to use the chart and to identify small doable goals that you can accomplish. There is a facilitator’s guide for each section, making it easy for everyone to share leadership of the sessions. We hope you will consider co-facilitating a piece of learning or an activity. Each section also includes practical tips on how to share the value with your family. On the Year of Growth page on the JWRP website there are additional ideas, including videos, activities and recipes. We hope you’ll find creative ways to introduce some of these ideas to your family at the dinner table, during carpool, and on Shabbat and holidays. Finally, each section includes two or three “Learn with your JWRP Sister” sessions to delve deeper into some of the most important questions of life, to have conversations that may never otherwise happen: How are you doing with gratitude? What small step do you want to take to become your better self? How would you describe your relationship with God? Where in your life can you transform an experience of disagreement into an opportunity for growth? A careful sisterhood structure is set – touching on the Israel connection made during the trip and deepening it — to support these conversations and to nurture growth with accountability.
Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  3  What   s in this Booklet  As you connected with your sisters on the  JWRP ...
4 introduction Three Principles to Support your Jewish Learning Journey: A Sisterhood A Reflective Pace An Active Approach A supportive sisterhood offers a safe space of confidentiality and loving listening without judgment and unsolicited advice. The passionate pace of your JWRP trip afforded many wonderful insights but provided limited opportunities for reflection. Integrating the insights of the trip into our hearts and lives will require time and processing. On this learning journey, no one is a passenger. All are crew! Imagine a boat where everyone on board pulls at an oar and no one sits by watching. Won’t it go faster and farther? Such an environment offers a much needed respite from the culture at large, enabling us to venture into personal and spiritual growth, ask big questions, and safely open our hearts to consider beliefs, values, and dreams. When we create this safe space, we can hear stories from our JWRP sisters that enrich and deepen our learning. We enter a journey of connection with each other, with deeper aspects of ourselves, with the wisdom of our tradition, and with God. Remember the “Don’t blame, don’t complain” trip saying, and actively welcome each person’s unique contributions, questions, and pace of growth. This booklet offers a process for enduring personal and spiritual growth, based in Jewish values, that will impact your life and the lives around you. The group sessions are designed to support reflection through conversation, writing, and other activities. Quiet writing time is a special way to reflect upon sources and internalize the values you are exploring. You may want to select a journal to use both in group sessions and when you get together with a JWRP sister or reflect at home on your own. Active learners get more out of the learning process. Since we all have different life experiences, gifts and challenges, our learning will be richer for all when everyone contributes to it. We invite you to help instill a collective sense of responsibility, activism, and cooperation among JWRP sisters, your partner organization, your family, and the greater community.
4  introduction  Three Principles to Support your Jewish Learning Journey  A Sisterhood  A Reflective Pace  An Active Appr...
introduction 5 Learn with Your JWRP Sisters While there are many things we can do on our own, personal and spiritual growth are not one of them. During your monthly group sessions, arrange a weekly time to connect with another JWRP sister to continue exploring, reflecting, and offering each other support and accountability for the ideas in this booklet. Plan to stay in touch between sessions via text or email, so you can check in on your progress with the goals you set for yourself. You can also join the Year of Growth Facebook group to connect with JWRP sisters in other locations, share ideas related to the learning in this book, and get inspiration for creative ways to engage your family and impact your community. Blessing Here’s to a Year of Growth! Every woman has the potential to change the world with the wisdom of Jewish values and it starts with selftransformation that has a ripple effect on our families and communities. Wishing you great success and a blessed journey, Manette Mayberg Chair,Education and Leadership Development Committee Co-Founder and Board Member Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project Dr. Ronit Ziv-Kreger Director of Education Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project
introduction  5  Learn with Your JWRP Sisters While there are many things we can do on our own, personal and spiritual gro...
6 Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim Planning for Learning with Your JWRP Sisters A keystone of the JWRP Year of Growth is giving yourself the gift of becoming your best self. Meeting with your JWRP Sister is a central part of this journey of personal and spiritual growth through Jewish values. What kind of person shall I be for my sister? Adapted from Rabbi Aryeh Ben David’s Ayeka for Two recommendations: Support your sister changing without seeking to change her. We each chart our own path. Give your sister the space and encouragement to help her figure it out. Clear out a space in your life and be 100% present for your sister in your hour together; 80% attention will feel really different. Be willing to listen without judgment, forgoing even light traces of eye-rolling, sarcasm, and cynicism. Refrain from giving advice to your sister and maintain strict confidentiality.
6  Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  Planning for  Learning with  Your JWRP Sisters A keystone of the JWRP Year...
Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim Structure your time together To make the most of your hour together: Get present Begin by reminding each other that you are entering a safe space without judgment and cell phones. Then, check in with each other. Use a timer to take turns giving each other two minutes of attentive listening so you can share what’s on year heart and mind and fully enter your time together. Recall your last group session What did you write in your chart? What did you take away? Has anything impacted you? If so, what? If not, why? The learning Turn to the booklet and take turns reading aloud to each other. Consider the questions through conversation, individual writing, or again setting a timer to listen carefully to each other so you can deeply consider your own ideas with the loving attention of your JWRP sister. Closure Share what you are taking away from the session. What support will help you reach the goals you’ve set? Plan to check in during the week by text or email. Select a closing ritual such as sharing a blessing or words of gratitude for your time together. Plan for an hour or an hour and a half and select a place conducive to private, uninterrupted talking and writing. This is your precious time. 7 Thanks and Appreciations The design principles, strategy and educational oversight was provided by JWRP Director of Education and Leadership Development, Dr. Ronit Ziv-Kreger. Aliza Sperling served as the project managing consultant in creating this booklet; she selected the majority of the texts and stories and wrote much of the curriculum. Aliza Sperling and Aliza Bulow elicited ideas from various JWRP city leaders to envision this module. The introductory comments and writing exercises were influenced by the teaching of Rabbi Aryeh Ben David, especially his wonderful book, Becoming a Soulful Educator and the Ayeka curricular resources, which can be found at http://www.ayeka.org.il/. The chart at the end of each section is adapted from Rabbi David Jaffe’s High Holiday Annual Kirva Workshop, in which he teaches a process that combines character development teachings (Mussar) with Rabbi Nachman’s teaching. The graphic design is by Ira Ginzburg Studio.
Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  Structure your time together To make the most of your hour together  Get pres...
Sukkot: Welcoming Guests — Hachnasat Orchim ‫הכנסת אורחים‬
Sukkot  Welcoming Guests      Hachnasat Orchim
10 Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim An important part of creating strong Jewish homes is welcoming and caring for those who need a place. From the time of Abraham and Sarah, this mitzvah of hachnasat orchim, hospitality, has been important in our tradition. This mitzvah is featured on Sukkot in a few ways, including when we remember how G-d took care of us by giving us shelter in the wilderness when we left Egypt, and when we invite guests from our Jewish past, called the Ushpizin, into our Sukkah. As you read through and discuss this unit, ask yourself these questions: • Why is hachnasat orchim such an important mitzvah? • How can I make others feel welcomed and cared for? What are some of the needs that my guests might have, and how can I provide for them? • What kind of home do I want to build? Who do I want to have as the influences in my home? How can my home be a source of holiness and kindness?
10  Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  An important part of creating strong Jewish homes is welcoming and caring...
Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim 11 The first role models for hachnasat orchim in the Torah are Abraham and Sarah. Although Abraham is in pain after having been circumcised at age 99, he and Sarah hurry to take care of travelers he sees in the distance. Breishit Chapter 18:1-8 God appeared to [Abraham] in the Plains of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of the tent in the hottest part of the day. [Abraham] lifted his eyes and he saw three strangers standing a short distance from him. When he saw [them] from the entrance of his tent, he ran to greet them, bowing down to the ground. He said, 'Sir, if you would, do not go on without stopping by me. Let some water be brought, and wash your feet. Rest under the tree. I will get a morsel of bread for you to refresh yourselves. Then you can continue on your way. After all, you are passing by my house.' Abraham ran to the cattle, and chose a tender, choice calf. He gave it to a young man who rushed to prepare it. [Abraham] fetched some cottage cheese and milk, and the calf that he prepared, and he placed it before [his guests]. He stood over them as they ate under the tree. ‫בראשית יח‬ ‫ ב וַ ּיִ ָּׂשא ֵעינָיו וַ ּיַ ְרא וְ ִהּנֵ ה‬.‫הא ֶֹהל ּכְ חֹם ַהּיֹום‬-‫ח‬ ָ ‫א וַ ּיֵ ָרא ֵאלָ יו ה׳ ְּב ֵאֹלנֵי ַמ ְמ ֵרא וְ הּוא י ֵֹׁשב ֶּפ ַת‬ ‫ֹאמר‬ ַ ‫ גוַ ּי‬.‫אתם ִמ ֶּפ ַתח ָהא ֶֹהל וַ ּיִ ְׁש ַּתחּו ָא ְר ָצה‬ ָ ‫נָׁשים נִ ָּצ ִבים ָעלָ יו וַ ּיַ ְרא וַ ּיָ ָרץ לִ ְק ָר‬ ִ ‫ֹלׁשה ֲא‬ ָ ‫ְׁש‬ ‫מיִם וְ ַר ֲחצּו‬-‫ט‬ ַ ‫נָא ְמ ַע‬-‫ ד יֻ ַּקח‬.‫נָא ַת ֲעבֹר ֵמ ַעל ַע ְב ֶּדָך‬-‫אתי ֵחן ְּב ֵעינֶיָך ַאל‬ ִ ‫נָא ָמ ָצ‬-‫ֲאדֹנָי ִאם‬ ‫ּכֵ ן‬-‫על‬-‫י‬ ַ ִ‫לֶ ֶחם וְ ַס ֲעדּו לִ ְּבכֶ ם ַא ַחר ַּת ֲעבֹרּו ּכ‬-‫ ה וְ ֶא ְק ָחה ַפת‬.‫ַרגְ לֵ יכֶ ם וְ ִה ָּׁש ֲענּו ַּת ַחת ָה ֵעץ‬ ‫ׂש ָרה‬-‫ל‬ ָ ‫ ו וַ יְ ַמ ֵהר ַא ְב ָר ָהם ָהא ֱֹהלָ ה ֶא‬.‫ֹאמרּו ּכֵ ן ַּת ֲע ֶׂשה ּכַ ֲא ֶׁשר ִּד ַּב ְר ָּת‬ ְ ‫ע ְב ְּדכֶ ם וַ ּי‬-‫ל‬ ַ ‫ֲע ַב ְר ֶּתם ַע‬ -‫ה ָּב ָקר ָרץ ַא ְב ָר ָהם וַ ּיִ ַּקח ֶּבן‬-‫ל‬ ַ ‫ ז וְ ֶא‬.‫ּוׁשי וַ ֲע ִׂשי ֻעגֹות‬ ִ ‫ֹאמר ַמ ֲה ִרי ְׁשֹלׁש ְס ִאים ֶק ַמח סֹלֶ ת ל‬ ֶ ‫וַ ּי‬ ‫ה ָּב ָקר ֲא ֶׁשר‬-‫ן‬ ַ ‫ּוב‬ ֶ ‫ ח וַ ּיִ ַּקח ֶח ְמ ָאה וְ ָחלָ ב‬.‫ּנַער וַ יְ ַמ ֵהר לַ ֲעׂשֹות אֹתֹו‬ ַ ‫ה‬-‫ל‬ ַ ‫ָּב ָקר ַרְך וָ טֹוב וַ ּיִ ֵּתן ֶא‬ .‫יהם ַּת ַחת ָה ֵעץ וַ ּיֹאכֵ לּו‬ ֶ ֵ‫ע ֵֹמד ֲעל‬-‫נֵיהם וְ הּוא‬ ֶ ‫ָע ָׂשה וַ ּיִ ֵּתן לִ ְפ‬ • In what ways is Avraham and Sarah’s hachnasat orchim emphasized here? Why so much emphasis on this mitzvah? • What do you think is the difference between hachnasat orchim and inviting your friends over for a meal? • Besides food, what else are people looking for when they come to your home? How could you provide those things for them? • Flip to the chart at the end of this section to reflect on how things have been at your home with hospitality, how you'd like them to be, and what you can do to reach your goals.
Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  11  The first role models for hachnasat orchim in the Torah are Abraham and S...
12 Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim Learn With Your JWRP Sister: Sukkot One of the mitzvot (commandments) of the holiday of Sukkot is to dwell in the Sukkah. We learn this mitzvah from the Book of VaYikra (Leviticus), where we are told that it is meant to be a reminder of God’s caring for us in the wilderness: VaYikra (Leviticus) Chapter 23: 42-43 You shall live in sukkot (huts) seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live in sukkot, so that future generations will know that I made the Israelites live in sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I am the Lord your God. ‫ויקרא כג‬ ‫ מג לְ ַמ ַען ְיֵדעּו דֹר ֵֹתיכֶ ם ּכִ י‬.‫ה ֶאזְ ָרח ְּביִ ְׂש ָר ֵאל יֵ ְׁשבּו ַּב ֻּסּכֹת‬-‫ל‬ ָ ָ‫מב ַּב ֻּסּכֹת ֵּת ְׁשבּו ִׁש ְב ַעת יָ ִמים ּכ‬ .‫אֹותם ֵמ ֶא ֶרץ ִמ ְצ ָריִם ֲאנִי ה׳ ֱאֹלקיכֶ ם‬ ָ ‫הֹוצ ִיאי‬ ִ ‫ּבנֵי יִ ְׂש ָר ֵאל ְּב‬-‫ת‬ ְ ‫הֹוׁש ְב ִּתי ֶא‬ ַ ‫ַב ֻּסּכֹות‬ • Why do you think is it so important that we recall that God provided sukkot/ huts for us to live in when we left Egypt? • As a mother, what kind of home do you seek to provide for your family? Writing quietly, consider: What kind of home do you seek to provide for your family? What do you want your child(ren) to remember about the home you provide for them? • After you’ve both written, share one or more thoughts On Sukkot, there is a special Kabbalistic custom of inviting the Ushpizin — with your partner. a select group of role models from our Jewish past — to our Sukkah. Take turns, listening attentively and lovingly to the Traditionally, the Ushpizin have been men; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, other, without giving advice but asking clarifying and Moses, Aaron and David. Recently, a custom has developed to also invite supporting questions, if helpful. our female role models: Sarah, Miriam, Devorah, Avigayil, Chana, Chuldah and Esther. • Who are the people from your personal history, or Jewish history, who you would like to invite into your home? How would they impact your home? • How can you become the kind of person that others want to include in their homes as role models and positive influences? • We have talked about the positive influences from the past you want to invite in. Who do you know who you want to invite in right now?
12  Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  Learn With Your JWRP Sister  Sukkot One of the mitzvot  commandments  of ...
Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim 13 Project: Create Your Own Ushpizin Who are the people who you would like to invite into your homes as role models for your families? Put together a photo montage of the people who you would like to have in your home as role models. Hang up your “Ushpizin” in your home or sukkah (or both!). Family Movie Night Sometimes it is difficult to invite certain people into your home. The beautiful Israeli movie Ushpizin tells the story of a childless couple who are visited on Sukkot by some people from a past they want to forget, and their struggle to figure out, and do, the right thing. This movie is available with English subtitles and is appropriate for the whole family.
Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  13  Project  Create Your Own Ushpizin Who are the people who you would like t...
14 Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim Learn With Your JWRP Sister: How to Be a Good Host/ How to Be a Good Guest How to Be a Good Host An Ancient Jerusalem Custom The following story is told by Joseph Telushkin in his book The Book of Jewish Values: A Day by Day Guide to Ethical Living about Rabbi Akiva Eiger, and the lengths he went to in order to make his guests comfortable. Rabbi Akiva Eiger (1761-1837) was entertaining visitors at his Shabbat table when a guest accidentally knocked against the dining-room table and caused a cup filled with red wine to spill on the white linen tablecloth. Even before the mortified guest could react, Rabbi Eiger nudged the table with his leg and knocked over the wineglass in front of him. “Oh, there’s somthing wrong with the table,” he reassured the guest. “I had better get it fixed after Shabbat.” • What do you currently do to make guests feel comfortable and welcome? Babylonian Talmud, Bava Batra 93 There was another fine custom in Jerusalem.At the beginning of the meal, a cloth was spread over the door of the house. So long as the cloth was spread, guests [knew that they were welcome to] enter [and join in the meal]. When the cloth was removed, no guests entered.* ‫עוד מנהג גדול היה בירושלים מפה פרוסה על גבי הפתח כל זמן שמפה פרוסה אורחין‬ :‫נכנסין נסתלקה המפה אין האורחין נכנסין‬ • What could you do to signal to others that they are welcome in your home? • What else could you do? * Adapted from Soncino translation
14  Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  Learn With Your JWRP Sister  How to Be a Good Host  How to Be a Good Gues...
Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim How to Be A Good Guest Babylonian Talmud, Berachot 58a Ben Zoma used to say: What does a good guest say? “How much trouble has my host gone to for me. How much meat he set before me. How much wine he brought me. How many cakes he served me. And all this trouble he has gone to for my sake!” But what does a bad guest say? “What kind of effort did the host make for me? I have eaten only one slice of bread. I have eaten only one piece of meat, and I have drunk only one cup of wine! Whatever trouble the host went to was done only for the sake of his wife and children.”** ‫[בן זומא] היה אומר אורח טוב מהו אומר כמה טרחות טרח בעל הבית בשבילי כמה‬ ‫בשר הביא לפני כמה יין הביא לפני כמה גלוסקאות הביא לפני וכל מה שטרח לא טרח‬ ‫אלא בשבילי אבל אורח רע מהו אומר מה טורח טרח בעל הבית זה פת אחת אכלתי‬ ‫חתיכה אחת אכלתי כוס אחד שתיתי כל טורח שטרח בעל הבית זה לא טרח אלא‬ ‫בשביל אשתו ובניו‬ • How would your life look different if you always had the attitude of the "good guest"? • How can you model this attitude for your family? ** Translation from Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, The Book of Jewish Values 15
Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  How to Be A Good Guest  Babylonian Talmud, Berachot 58a Ben Zoma used to say ...
16 Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim Learn With Your Sister: Spotlight on Israel The Law of Return In 1950, two years after its Declaration of Independance, Israel’s Knesset passed a remarkable law, beginning with a few simple words that defined Israel’s central purpose: “Every Jew has the right to immigrate to this country...” With the inception of the State of Israel, two thousand years of wandering were officially over. Since then, Jews have been entitled to simply show up and request to be Israeli citizens, assuming they posed no imminent danger to public health, state security, or the Jewish people as a whole. Essentially, all Jews everywhere are Israeli citizens by right.* How is Israel’s Law of Return an expression of hachnasat orchim? * Text adapted from The Jewish Agency for Israel. w E L
16  Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  Learn With Your Sister  Spotlight on Israel The Law of Return In 1950, tw...
Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim 17 Ethiopian Jews immigrating to Israel C O M E French Jews immigrating to Israel Russian Jews immigrating to Israel
Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  17  Ethiopian Jews immigrating to Israel  C  O  M  E  French Jews immigrating...
18 Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim The Incredible Hospitality of the Machlis Family drunkards, widows, orphans, Sar El volunteers for Israel, Birthright participants, and truth seekers. While most of their guests are from English-speaking countries, the Machlis family has hosted people from every continent, and from countries as far away as Japan, China, and the Philippines. A Taste of Heaven By Sara Yocheved Rigler For more than two decades Rabbi Mordechai and Henny Machlis have opened their home to an amazing assortment of Shabbat guests. Every week 60-100 guests show up for Friday night dinner, and an equal number for Shabbat lunch. Who comes? Travelers, yeshiva students, university students, the homeless, the mentally ill, Hadassah ladies, tourists, lost souls, U.J.A. mission visitors, new immigrants, Both Mordechai and Henny are Brooklyn born and bred. . . . The couple met in 1979 in New York. Shortly after they started seeing each other, it became clear that, as Henny says, "We both wanted to share the love and the joy and the beauty of Judaism, and to share Shabbat with everyone." The young couple wasted no time in actualizing their ideals. For the first three months after their wedding, they rented a twobedroom apartment in Brooklyn, so that they would have a room to accommodate homeless people. The very first Shabbat in their apartment, Mordechai brought home to his 21-year-old bride a mentally ill couple to sleep over and eat with them for Shabbat. This couple became regular guests for the whole period the newlyweds were in Brooklyn. Three months later, Mordechai and Henny actualized another cherished ideal. They moved to the holy city of Jerusalem. Within a year, the Shabbat scene began. Mordechai prayed the Shabbat morning service at the Kotel. Walking through the Arab shuk on his way home, the 27-year-old Mordechai encountered a middle-aged Jewish woman, an American tourist. He invited her to come home with him for Shabbat lunch. "I'd love to," she replied, "but I'm here with a few friends." “Bring them along," Mordechai offered warmly. "There's enough food for everyone." When Mordechai crossed his threshold a short while later, he had 40 Hadassah ladies in tow. Henny amiably cut up the gefilte fish into paper-thin portions. Impressed by the 22-year-old Henny's warmth and hospitality, the middle-aged women kept saying to her, "You remind me of my grandmother." Another Shabbat both Mordechai and Henny were walking home from the Kotel. In the shuk, they met a doctor from Holland who was in Israel for a laser convention. They invited him home for Shabbat lunch. After Mordechai made Kiddush, he passed small cups of grape juice around to his guests. The Dutch doctor's hands were shaking so much that he could not grasp his
18  Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  The Incredible Hospitality of the Machlis Family drunkards, widows, orpha...
Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim cup. Finally, in an impassioned voice, he declared: "This is my first Jewish experience. Both my parents are Jewish, and Holocaust survivors. They would not let any Judaism into our home at all. Even when my son was born, they insisted that we not circumcise him. When I get back to Holland, I'm going to start studying about my Jewish roots."Within two or three years of their marriage, the Machlises were hosting 20-30 guests at each Shabbat meal. From there, "it just grew. We bought another table, and filled it. We just kept adding tables." Ninety people fit tightly into the Machlises' book-lined living room. The two sofas and the imitation Oriental rug, the only furnishings in the room during the week, are moved out for Shabbat. The overflow of guests sits in the fiberglass-roofed courtyard. When the guests exceed even the courtyard — as they often do, depending on the season — they sit in the small kitchen or at the tables set up outside the front door of the garden apartment. Henny's dream is to have the money to expand the living room, so everyone can sit together comfortably. The Machlises' hospitality is not reserved for Shabbat. Rare are the days when needy persons are not sleeping in the Machlises' extra beds, or on their two couches, or on the rug in the living room. Every night one, two, or three men, too drunk or crazy Photo: The Machlis home, set up for countless Shabbos guests. 19 to want to sleep inside the house, sleep in the Machlises' van. When Mordechai leaves for work in the morning, he can tell how many "van guests" he has by how many pairs of shoes he sees in the front windshield. Often during the week destitute people pop into the Machlis home and ask if they can help themselves to staples from the kitchen shelves. The answer is always, "yes." A fortune of tuna fish and canned vegetables disappears this way. In addition to the Machlises' 13 children, Mordechai and Henny have scores of spiritual progeny — couples who have found each other at the Machlis home or people who have been inspired to become observant by the Machlises' example. When these people have no money to pay the rent or buy food, whom do they turn to? Their spiritual parents, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Machlis, of course! Note: Henny Machlis passed away in October 2015. May her memory be a blessing.
Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  cup. Finally, in an impassioned voice, he declared   This is my first Jewish ...
20 Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim Try It Out: Practical Tips and Resources for Families Family Hachnasat Orchim Project Hachnasat Orchim In Your Community Involve your family in the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim! Discuss the following questions together and plan a meal that will truly embody Jewish hospitality. Hachnasat orchim can be done on a personal level by inviting others to our homes. We also have an obligation to make sure that everyone in our community who needs it has a place to live and something to eat. Here are some questions to consider when planning your meal: • What are some organizations in your area that provide food and shelter to those in need? • Who should we invite? • Who do I know who would appreciate a place at our table? • Who do I know who cannot attend a meal at my home, but would appreciate our delivering a meal or flowers to show that we are thinking of them? • What can we do to make all our guests feel comfortable and at-home? • What food can we prepare that would take into account our guests' allergies and preferences? • What are some topics of conversation that would be interesting and meaningful to all? • What can you do to help support these organizations? • How might you involve your whole family? Where is there an opportunity to get involved such as a shelter or soup kitchen? • What other families might you invite to join in with you? How could you take leadership to bring the value of hachnasat orchim into your family and your community? Who could you inspire to partner with you? • Flip to the table at the end of this section and fill in thoughts on how things have been, how you’d like them to be, some doable concrete things you could do and what support and accountability would help you achieve a goal you have.
20  Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  Try It Out  Practical Tips and Resources for Families Family Hachnasat Or...
Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim Resources for further exploration: Hachnasat Orchim for Parents: What’s Jewish About Welcoming Guests? www.bit.ly/2bVv4e5 Hachnasat Orchim for Young Children: Welcoming Sparks: Shaboom! www.bit.ly/2ccR33a Shalom Sesame: Abraham and the Three Visitors: www.bit.ly/2aNUXjg 21
Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  Resources for further exploration  Hachnasat Orchim for Parents  What   s Jew...
22 Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim Use this chart to plan and track your progress regarding welcoming guests Acknowledgment (Vidui) Vision (Teshuvah) How has it been? Where are you with the value of hachnasat orchim? How would you like it to be? What gets in the way & what can you do to reorient towards your best self?
22  Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  Use this chart to plan and track your progress regarding welcoming guests...
Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim 23 Goals (Kabbalah) Accountability Small and doable steps — including a concrete daily practice — toward attaining your vision of best self in terms of hachnasat orchim. What evidence can you collect to know you are making progress? Who can help hold you accountable on your goals? How? When?
Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  23  Goals  Kabbalah   Accountability  Small and doable steps      including a...
24 Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim Classic Chicken Soup By Jamie Geller, Quick and Kosher www.joyofkosher.com 1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces Rinse chicken and place in a 6-quart soup pot. 12 cups water Add water and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim any foam, residue or fat that rises to the surface using a large spoon or skimmer and discard. 1 large carrot, peeled, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 large parsnip, peeled, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 large onion, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 large turnip, peeled, cut into bite-sized pieces 4 medium stalks of celery, cut into bite-sized pieces 3 tablespoons kosher salt 1 (1/2-ounce) chicken consommé stock cube (optional) 1 bouquet garni of 15 parsley sprigs, 15 dill sprigs, 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns Additional fresh parsley or dill, for garnish (optional) Once boiling runs clear, reduce heat to a simmer and add carrot, parsnip, onion, turnip, celery and salt. Add stock cube, if desired. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes. During the last 15 minutes of cooking add the bouquet garni and then remove before serving. Remove chicken meat from the bones and place a few pieces into each bowl. Ladle soup and vegetables over chicken. Mince dill or parsley and sprinkle on immediately before serving, if desired. Or cool the soup and refrigerate overnight.
24  Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  Classic Chicken Soup By Jamie Geller, Quick and Kosher www.joyofkosher.co...
Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim 25
Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  25
26 Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim Facilitator’s Guide In this session, we explore the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim, welcoming guests The Guiding Questions in this unit are: • Why is hachnasat orchim such an important mitzvah? • How can I make others feel welcomed and cared for? • What kind of home do I want to build? Who do I want to have as the influences in my home? How can I help others who need the physical comfort and attention of my home? The intended outcomes for participants in this conversation are that they: • View and use their homes as sources of holiness and kindness. • Open their homes to those in physical, emotional or spiritual need. • Become sensitive, kind and appreciative hosts and guests. • Consider role models for their family. • Envision ways to take leadership to bring the value of hachnasat orchim to their family and community and get support for such leadership. Advance preparation for leading this session and empowering your participants to learn and lead: In advance, invite a few participants to take a small role in leading the session such as:
26  Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim  Facilitator   s Guide In this session, we explore the mitzvah of hachnasa...
Sukkot: Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim • Share the Abraham and Sarah story and co-lead the conversation with you. • Learn and teach others about the custom of Ushpizin. • Lead the “Create Your Own Ushpizin” photo project. • Plan a movie night to show the Ushpizin movie. 27 pairs). Reconvene students to share their answers, and brainstorm with them how to make hachnasat orchim part of their lives. 3. If you wish, introduce the holiday of Sukkot and connect it to the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim. Do the “Create Your Own Ushpizin” project together. 4. Give a brief overview of the rest of the unit. Encourage participants to set up times with a friend to continue their learning (“Learn With Your JWRP Sister” sections). Point them to the chart at the end of the unit where they can set goals for hachnasat orchim and assess their progress. Remember: the more you involve your participants the more they will own the learning and the better you will be preparing them to take leadership in their family and their community. If you are planning the session in advance of Sukkot, consider what resources could help the participants who are interested to create a sukkah with their families or neighbors. 5. You may wish to invite a guest speaker to talk about a local or Israel organization that houses and/ or feeds those in need. Contact your Federation for suggestions. • This is a good opportunity for one of your participants to do some research into an organization and present to the group. Suggestions for how to lead this session: • Brainstorm with participants on how you as a group can support this organization. If you are having this session around Sukkot-time, build and decorate a sukkah together or host the event in a participant’s sukkah. 1. Begin by reminding everyone that we are in our Sisterhood Safe Space. Recall the last session together, and if the group is small enough and time is sufficient, invite each to share with the group; otherwise ask each to share with a partner she has not spoke with much recently. Ask: Has the learning of the last session impacted you? If so, how? If not, why?. • Discuss with participants what you can do as a group to provide clothing and shelter for those in need. 6. As part of the closure, highlight participation and things said and shared. Noticing the attention, the listening, the growing unity in the group helps to grow these qualities. Recall the main ideas explored in the session. 7. 2. Tell participants that the Hebrew term for hospitality is hachnasat orchim, bringing in guests. Tell them that the first role models for hachnasat orchim in the Torah are Avraham and Sarah. Read together or tell the story of Avraham and Sarah’s hospitality, and have students talk out the discussion questions in chevruta (learning 8. Encourage participants to engage their families in a Hachnasat Orchim project. Using the sources and questions in the Participant Guide, women and their families can make a plan to do the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim together. Let all know when you’ll be meeting again and what will be the theme explored.
Sukkot  Welcoming Guests - Hachnasat Orchim        Share the Abraham and Sarah story and co-lead the conversation with you...
28 hak arat hatov Thanksgiving: Gratitude – Hakarat Hatov ‫הכרת הטוב‬
28  hak arat hatov  Thanksgiving  Gratitude     Hakarat Hatov
hak arat hatov 29
hak arat hatov  29
30 hak arat hatov Gratitude infuses the life of a Jew. From the time we wake up in the morning and recite “Modeh Ani” to the blessings we make upon the food we eat, the new clothes we wear, the special moments in our lives — we strive to remain mindful of all the blessings we have been given. In Hebrew this is called hakarat hatov, recognizing the good. Once we recognize the good in our lives, we can approach the world with openness and gratitude. We can also start to think about those who do not enjoy all the blessings that we have, and to work to make sure that they too receive what they need. As you read through and discuss this unit, ask yourself these questions: • How can hakarat hatov (recognizing the good) change my life? • How can I choose gratitude even in difficult circumstances? • What is the connection between gratitude and responsibility?
30  hak arat hatov  Gratitude infuses the life of a Jew. From the time we wake up in the morning and recite    Modeh Ani  ...
hak arat hatov 31 100 Blessings A Day Rabbi Meir was one of the greatest Sages of the Mishnah and lived in the Land of Israel in the 2nd century. His wife Bruriah was also a famous Torah scholar known for her great piety and wisdom. Babylonian Talmud Menachot 43b Rabbi Meir used to say, A person is bound to say one hundred blessings daily. ‫תניא היה רבי מאיר אומר חייב אדם לברך מאה ברכות בכל יום‬ • What might be the purpose of saying 100 blessings a day? Wouldn’t 10 or 20 suffice? How might your life and the lives of the people around you be affected by saying 100 blessings a day ? If this were the norm in a community what might the community be like? • Rabbi Meir says that reciting 100 blessings a day is a requirement. Why? Isn’t it just a nice thing to do?
hak arat hatov  31  100 Blessings A Day Rabbi Meir was one of the greatest Sages of the Mishnah and lived in the Land of I...
32 hak arat hatov Modeh Ani The first thing a Jew says upon waking up is “Modeh Ani” – Thank you! This prayer was composed by Rabbi Moshe Ben Reb Yehudah ibn Machir, one of the kabbalists who lived in Tsfat in the 1500s. In his book “Seder Hayom (printed in Venice, Italy in 1599), he writes that one should recite “Modeh Ani” upon rising in the morning. Modeh/ Modah ani l’fanecha, melech chai v’kayam, she-he-cheh-zarta bee nishma-ti b’chemlah, rabah emunatecha. Thanks I offer before You, living and sustaining ruler, for returning my soul to me with compassion; great is your faithfulness. :‫ ַר ָּבה ֱאמּונָ ֶתָך‬,‫נִׁש ָמ ִתי ְּב ֶח ְמלָ ה‬ ְ ‫ ֶׁש ֶה ֱחזַ ְר ָּת ִּבי‬,‫ ֲאנִי לְ ָפנֶיָך ֶמלֶ ְך ַחי וְ ַקּיָ ם‬/ ‫מודה‬ ָ / ‫מודה‬ ֶ • How would it change your life to start every day with gratitude? Good Points The first mitzvah in the Code of Jewish Law (Shulchan Aruch) is “One should wake in the morning like a lion to serve the Creator . . .” What does it mean to wake like a lion and how do we do this? Rav Noson of Breslov, in his commentary on Jewish law, suggests doing this by starting the day with thinking of a “good point” — a personal appreciation, an acknowledgment of self-worth, an aspect of divinity, a strength. This “good point” sustains and awakens a person from sleep — both actual sleep and the heaviness that could be caused by faults and mistakes. An effective first step to tackling the challenges ahead is to begin with personal awareness and appreciation of the good. • What “good point” in you could you notice to help you effectively attend to a challenge ahead of you?
32  hak arat hatov  Modeh Ani The first thing a Jew says upon waking up is    Modeh Ani        Thank you   This prayer was...
hak arat hatov Project: River of Life/ River of Blessing Using poster board and markers, draw your life path — starting from birth until now — as a flowing river, moving from one turning point to another. Highlight “gratitude/ blessing points” along the way: times on your life journey where you have had key experiences -both challenges and opportunities — and consider what you can be grateful for at each key moment or turning point. • As you look back on your River of Life, how does it make you feel? • Are there any points in your River of Life that felt like disappointments or obstacles at the time, but that you now see as blessings? • As you move forward in your River of Life, what practices might support you to appreciate the blessings that you have? 33
hak arat hatov  Project  River of Life  River of Blessing Using poster board and markers, draw your life path      startin...
34 hak arat hatov Learn With Your JWRP Sister: Leah, Model of Gratitude After our forefather Jacob ran away from his home, he found refuge in the home of his uncle Laban. Laban had two daughters — Leah and Rachel. Jacob immediately fell in love with Rachel and offered to work for his uncle for seven years in order to marry her. After seven years, Laban tricked Jacob and gave him Leah as a wife instead, claiming that in his culture the older daughter always needed to get married before the younger. Jacob later married Rachel as well. Bereishit Chapter 29: 32-35 God saw that Leah was unloved and He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. Leah conceived and bore a son, and named him Reuben; she declared, “It means: ‘God has seen my affliction’; it also means: ‘Now my husband will love me.”‘ She conceived again and bore a son, and declared, “This is because God heard that I was unloved and has given me this one also”; so she named him Simeon. Again she conceived and bore a son and declared, “This time my husband will become attached to me, for I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi. She conceived again and bore a son, and declared, “This time I will praise God.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.* ‫ לב וַ ַּת ַהר לֵ ָאה וַ ֵּתלֶ ד ֵּבן‬.‫ר ְח ָמּה וְ ָר ֵחל ֲע ָק ָרה‬-‫ת‬ ַ ‫נּואה לֵ ָאה וַ ּיִ ְפ ַּתח ֶא‬ ָ ‫ׂש‬-‫י‬ ְ ִ‫לא וַ ּיַ ְרא ה׳ ּכ‬ ‫ לג וַ ַּת ַהר עֹוד וַ ֵּתלֶ ד‬.‫יׁשי‬ ִ ‫ר ָאה ה’ ְּב ָענְיִי ּכִ י ַע ָּתה ֱיֶא ָה ַבנִי ִא‬-‫י‬ ָ ִ‫אּובן ּכִ י ָא ְמ ָרה ּכ‬ ֵ ‫וַ ִּת ְק ָרא ְׁשמֹו ְר‬ ‫ לד וַ ַּת ַהר‬.‫זֶ ה וַ ִּת ְק ָרא ְׁשמֹו ִׁש ְמעֹון‬-‫את‬-‫ם‬ ֶ ַ‫לִ י ּג‬-‫נּואה ָאנֹכִ י וַ ּיִ ֶּתן‬ ָ ‫ׂש‬-‫י‬ ְ ִ‫ׁש ַמע ה’ ּכ‬-‫י‬ ָ ִ‫ֹאמר ּכ‬ ֶ ‫ֵּבן וַ ּת‬ -‫ּכֵ ן ָק ָרא‬-‫ֹלׁשה ָבנִים ַעל‬ ָ ‫יָ לַ ְד ִּתי לֹו ְׁש‬-‫יׁשי ֵאלַ י ּכִ י‬ ִ ‫ֹאמר ַע ָּתה ַה ַּפ ַעם יִ ּלָ וֶ ה ִא‬ ֶ ‫עֹוד וַ ֵּתלֶ ד ֵּבן וַ ּת‬ ‫הּודה‬ ָ ְ‫ּכֵ ן ָק ְר ָאה ְׁשמֹו י‬-‫ה’ ַעל‬-‫אֹודה ֶאת‬ ֶ ‫ֹאמר ַה ַּפ ַעם‬ ֶ ‫ לה וַ ַּת ַהר עֹוד וַ ֵּתלֶ ד ֵּבן וַ ּת‬.‫ְׁשמֹו לֵ וִ י‬ .‫וַ ַּת ֲעמֹד ִמּלֶ ֶדת‬ * Translation adapted from JPS Tanakh. Leah always knew that Jacob preferred Rachel and when she had her first three children, her names for them reflected her longing for her husband’s love. When her fourth son is born, though, she stops focusing on what she does not have and expresses her gratitude. • What effect do you think Leah’s naming of her sons had on her family? How can a mother’s attitude affect the entire family? • How do you think Leah is able to go from her sorrowful naming of her first three sons to her expression of gratitude when her fourth son is born? How do you think she is able to shift her attitude? • Where have you seen someone shift attitude? Where have you shifted your attitude, or where would you like to? • The words “Jew,” “Jewish,” and “Judaism” come from the name “Judah.” These words are about gratitude; in Hebrew, “Judah” has the same root as the word for “thank you”, Todah. So, Jews are people of gratitude. Where can you see this meaning of “Jewish” in your life, in your community or in the world? What might you do to enable others to see this aspect of what it means to be Jewish?
34  hak arat hatov  Learn With Your JWRP Sister  Leah, Model of Gratitude After our forefather Jacob ran away from his hom...
hak arat hatov Hakarat HaTov in Difficult Times The following is an excerpt from Aliza Bulow’s article about spiritual coping strategies. Read more on Aliza’s blog, www.abiteoftorah.com. My daughter Elisheva lost a twin baby and a brother this year. She hugged me as I buried my baby just a few rows away from hers, and we both cried together... Now it’s eight months since her baby died and seven weeks since her brother died and she and I were alone in the kitchen. “How are you doing inside?” I asked her. “Okay,” she said, confirming what I thought. “But, you know what I really don’t like?” she continued. “I really don’t like it when people come over to me and say, ‘Wow, you’ve have a really hard year’. I know they mean well, but I just want to tell them: I’ve had some really hard weeks in a really good year.” I was so proud of her. I asked her how she came to that thought. With a twinkle she said, “That’s how you raised me!” • How do you think Elisheva is able to say that she has had “some really hard weeks in a really good year”? • What would your life look like if you adopted this attitude? 35
hak arat hatov  Hakarat HaTov in Difficult Times The following is an excerpt from Aliza Bulow   s article about spiritual ...
36 hak arat hatov Learn With Your JWRP Sister: Spotlight on Israel The Gratitude – and Heroism – of Hannah Senesch The Walk to Caesarea (“Eli Eli”) by Hannah Senesch, set to music by David Zehavi My God, My God, May these never end The sand and the sea The rush of the waters The flash of the heavens The prayer of Man. ‫ א ל י‬,‫א ל י‬ ‫שלא יגמר לעולם‬ , ‫החול ו הים‬ , ‫רשרוש של המים‬ , ‫ברק השמיים‬ .‫תפילת האדם‬
36  hak arat hatov  Learn With Your JWRP Sister  Spotlight on Israel The Gratitude     and Heroism     of Hannah Senesch T...
hak arat hatov Hannah Senesch (1921-44) grew up in Budapest, but left Hungary for the Land of Israel in 1939. She wrote her famous poem “The Walk to Caesarea” (commonly known as “Eli Eli”) while living at Kibbutz Sdot Yam. Ten days earlier, she had been approved to join a group planning to establish an agricultural settlement at Caesarea. In thirteen words, the poem captures her appreciation and love for the world around her. Several months later, she enlisted in the British Air Force. In 1944 she parachuted into Yugoslavia near the Hungarian border to rescue Jews. She was caught almost immediately by the Hungarian police, and tortured cruelly and repeatedly over the next several months. Despite these conditions — and the Hungarian police imprisoning her mother to force her to talk — Hannah Senesch refused to divulge any information about her mission. Throughout her ordeal she remained steadfast in her courage, and when she was executed by a firing squad on November 7, she refused the blindfold, staring squarely at her executors and her fate. Senesch was only 23 years old. In 1945, Israeli composer David Zehavi set “The Walk to Caesarea” to music and it has since become a virtual second anthem in Israel. In 1950, Senesch’s remains were brought to Israel and re-interred at the military cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.*** 37 • What are the things that you are so grateful for, that you wish would never end? • How might have Senesch’s attitude in this poem given her the courage to resist the Hungarian police? • Heroes like Hannah Senesch inspire us to be our best selves — to act courageously on behalf of our community, our people, and the world. What concrete action can you take this week, inspired by Hannah and other heroes? *** Text adapted from: http://israelforever.org/interact/multimedia/eli_eli/ and http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/culture/poem-of-the-week/1.643772 Watch Ofra Haza perform “Eli Eli” at: http://bit.ly/2cG8fjz and Lior Ben Hur and Sol Tevel perform an updated version at: http://bit.ly/2cIQwJw.
hak arat hatov  Hannah Senesch  1921-44  grew up in Budapest, but left Hungary for the Land of Israel in 1939. She wrote h...
38 hak arat hatov Learn With Your JWRP Sister: Hakarat Hatov and Responsibility When we experience the blessings in our lives, we are called to think of others who are in need and to share our blessings with them. Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Yom Tov 6:18 When a person eats and drinks [in celebration of a holiday], he is obligated to feed converts, orphans, widows, and others who are destitute and poor. In contrast, a person who locks the gates of his courtyard and eats and drinks with his children and his wife, without feeding the poor and the embittered, is [not indulging in] rejoicing associated with a mitzvah, but rather the rejoicing of his gut.  .‫ חייב להאכיל לגר ליתום ולאלמנה עם שאר העניים האמיללים‬,‫וכשהוא אוכל ושותה‬ ‫ ואינו מאכיל ומשקה‬,‫אבל מי שנועל דלתות חצרו ואוכל ושותה הוא ובניו ואשתו‬ .‫ אלא שמחת כרסו‬,‫אין זו שמחת מצוה‬--‫לעניים ולמרי נפש‬ • Why do you think a person is obligated when celebrating the holiday to feed converts, orphans, widows and the poor? • What is the difference between true rejoicing, and “rejoicing of the gut”? • Can you think of a time when a meal/ party felt like “rejoicing of the gut”? • Can you think of a time when a meal/ party felt like true rejoicing? • Do you have any events or meals that you are hosting in the near future? Who might you reach out to and include? It isn’t always straightforward to find and invite those in true need; what strategies and help might you seek to find those who might most benefit from a good celebratory meal? Sometimes they may be closer than you think — someone going through illness, divorce, job loss, or the like. How might you involve your children in the experience?
38  hak arat hatov  Learn With Your JWRP Sister  Hakarat Hatov and Responsibility When we experience the blessings in our ...
hak arat hatov 39 Hunger by the Numbers 1 Americans in 7 1 in 5 Israelis live struggle with hunger That’s 48.1 million people including 15.3 million children and 5.4 million seniors below the poverty line That’s 1.8 million Israelis, including 873,000 children and 162,900 seniors **** • What are the statistics in your community? • Who in your community helps those in need? • What can you do? • How might you involve your children? **** Information taken from Hunger By the Numbers, http://mazon.org/thereality-of-hunger/hunger-by-the-numbers. • With whom can you partner to take action?
hak arat hatov  39  Hunger by the Numbers  1 Americans in 7  1  in 5 Israelis live             struggle   with hunger  Tha...
40 hak arat hatov Celebrating U.S. Thanksgiving With Hakarat Hatov Ideas for your Thanksgiving Meal • Go around the room and ask everyone to share with the group what they are grateful for at this time. • Recite Psalms Chapter100 as a Jewish expression of gratitude at your Thanksgiving table. 1 A song for a thanksgiving offering. Shout to the Lord, all the earth. • Think of people in your neighborhood who might not have a place to go for Thanksgiving dinner. Call them and invite them to your meal. 3 Know that the Lord is God; He made us and we are His, people and the flock of His pasture. • Instead of preparing another dish for your meal, set aside the amount of money it would have cost to buy the ingredients and donate that amount to tzedakah. Psalms Chapter 100 2 Serve the Lord with joy, come before Him with praise. 4 Come into His gates with thanksgiving, [into] His courtyards with praise; give thanks to Him, bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His kindness is forever, and until generation after generation is His faith.
40  hak arat hatov  Celebrating U.S. Thanksgiving With Hakarat Hatov Ideas for your Thanksgiving Meal       Go around the ...
hak arat hatov 41 Try It Out: Practical Tips and Resources for Families Ideas for bringing the value of Hakarat Hatov into your family life: • Read the story The Curse of Blessings by Mitchell Cheifetz together, available at www.bit.ly/2bVwfKC, and discuss its message. • Write thank you notes to family members, teachers and friends who have helped you. • Give everyone in your family a small notebook or journal. Encourage them to write down every night three things for which they are grateful from that day. • • • Volunteer for Thank Israeli Soldiers www.thankisraelisoldiers.org by: • Sending emails to your family and friends to publicize the project. • Organizing package drives in your temple, synagogue, school and community. Start a daily practice of saying, chanting or singing “Modeh Ani” in the morning with your family. Here are a few melodies to try: • Publicizing the care package program with Bar/Bat Mitzvah students and chesed organizations. Modeh Ani #1 www.bit.ly/2ccRiLO Modeh Ani #2 www.bit.ly/2bWLpUM Beautiful song based on Modeh Ani www.bit.ly/2ca0QVS • Raising funds & collecting donations of supplies. • Distributing care packages at army bases when you are in Israel. Create with your family a list of 100 blessings for which you are all grateful. Hang up the list of blessings on the front door, in the kitchen, or on the bathroom mirror, to remind yourselves of your blessings every day! Volunteer at a local organization that helps others who do not enjoy the blessings that you have. Hakarat Hatov for Parents: What’s Jewish About Gratitude? http://bit.ly/2ccR8nB Hakarat Hatov for Young Children: Everything is Amazing — Shaboom! http://bit.ly/2c1PcBr
hak arat hatov  41  Try It Out  Practical Tips and Resources for Families Ideas for bringing the value of Hakarat Hatov in...
42 hak arat hatov Use this chart to plan and track your progress regarding hakarat hatov Acknowledgment (Vidui) Vision (Teshuvah) How has it been? Where are you with the value of hakarat hatov? How would you like it to be? What gets in the way & what can you do to reorient towards your best self?
42  hak arat hatov  Use this chart to plan and track your progress regarding hakarat hatov Acknowledgment  Vidui   Vision ...
hak arat hatov 43 Goals (Kabbalah) Accountability Small and doable steps — including a concrete daily practice — toward attaining your vision of best self in terms of hakarat hatov. What evidence can you collect to know you are making progress? Who can help hold you accountable on your goals? How? When?
hak arat hatov  43  Goals  Kabbalah   Accountability  Small and doable steps      including a concrete daily practice     ...
44 hak arat hatov Pumpkin Challah Adapted slightly from A Blessing of Bread by Maggie Glezer Makes 2 loaves Sprinkle yeast into a small bowl and pour the warm water on it. Let stand for 10 minutes, then stir 1 package (7g) yeast to dissolve. 2/3 cup warm water Mix flour, cinnamon, and cardamom in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in yeast/ 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon water mixture. Using a wooden spoon, incorporate some of the flour into the water–just enough 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom left at this point.) Cover bowl with a towel and leave until frothy and risen, about 20 minutes. 3 3/4 cups unbleached white flour (you can substitute up to 1 3/4 cup with whole wheat flour) 1/3 cup sugar to form a soft paste. (Don’t try to completely incorporate–there should be quite a bit of dry flour In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, oil, egg, and salt. Add to the risen flour mixture and combine thoroughly. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is pliable. (If it’s too wet, keep adding flour in small amounts.) Let dough rest 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly oil the bowl, put the dough in it and re-cover with the towel. Let dough rise in a warm place until it has tripled in size, 2-3 hours. Punch down 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned) dough, knead it a bit more, and cut it into two equal pieces. Cut each of the two pieces into three 1/4 cup canola oil Braid three ropes together and repeat so that you end up with two braided loaves. 1 egg (+ 1 egg for glaze) 1 1/2 teaspoons salt Cornmeal (optional) equal pieces (You should have 6 total pieces at this point). Roll each piece into a straight rope. Sprinkle baking sheets with a little cornmeal, or line them with parchment paper. Place loaves on the sheets, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. Glaze loaves with extra beaten egg. Bake at 350° F for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
44  hak arat hatov  Pumpkin Challah Adapted slightly from A Blessing of Bread by Maggie Glezer  Makes 2 loaves  Sprinkle y...
hak arat hatov 45
hak arat hatov  45
46 hak arat hatov Facilitator’s Guide In this session, we explore the value of hakarat hatov, gratitude The Guiding Questions in this unit are: • How can hakarat hatov change your life? • How can you choose gratitude even in difficult circumstances? • What is the connection between gratitude and responsibility? Advance preparation for leading this session and empowering your participants to learn and lead: • In advance, invite a few participants to take a small role in leading the session such as: • Lead the River of Life/ River of Blessing project The intended outcomes for participants in this conversation are that they: • Share the Leah story and co-lead the conversation with you • Learn and teach others the “Modeh Ani” • Adopt an attitude of gratitude toward the blessings in their lives • • Act upon their gratitude by thanking and supporting others Lead a conversation about bringing the value of hakarat hatov into family Thanksgiving celebrations. • Incorporate gratitude rituals into their individual and family lives • Envision ways to take leadership to bring the value of hakarat hatov to their family and community and get support for such leadership Remember: the more you involve your participants the more they will own the learning and the better you will be preparing them to take leadership in their family and their community.
46  hak arat hatov  Facilitator   s Guide In this session, we explore the value of hakarat hatov, gratitude  The Guiding Q...
hak arat hatov Suggestions for how to lead this session: 1. 2. Begin by reminding everyone that we are in our Sisterhood Safe Space. Recall the last session together, and if the group is small enough and time is sufficient, invite each to share with the group; otherwise ask each to share with a partner she has not spoke with much recently. Ask: Has the learning of the last session impacted you? If so, how? If not, why? Before the session, ask students to prepare by reading Mitchell Cheifetz’s short story The Curse of Blessings. Lead into the topic of hakarat hatov by asking for one of the participants to briefly summarize the story for those who were not able to prepare. Discuss with participants: a. How did it change the officer’s life to constantly seek out and say a new blessing each day? b. Have you ever had a similar experience, where practicing gratitude changed your perspective? c. Why do you think gratitude and blessing were the key to keeping the officer alive each day? What is the connection between gratitude and life? 47 3. Read together the text: 100 Blessings. According to the Talmud, a Jew must make 100 blessings a day. Ask participants to reflect for a few moments on a blessing they already know, or to create their own blessings to express their gratitude. Go around the room and have each women explain the blessing she is about to make, and then recite her blessing. a. Suggest to participants that they create with their families a list of 100 blessings for which they are grateful. Participants should hang up the list of blessings on the front door, in the kitchen, or on the bathroom mirror! b. Ask participants why they think one should make 100 blessings a day. Wouldn’t 10 or 20 suffice? What happens to a person when he or she is constantly looking for something to bless? 4. Teach participants the: “Modeh Ani” prayer that Jews recite when we first open our eyes in the morning. Ask: How would it change your life to start every day with gratitude?
hak arat hatov  Suggestions for how to lead this session  1.   2.      Begin by reminding everyone that we are in our Sist...
48 hak arat hatov 5. River of Life/ River of Blessing Give out poster board and markers, and invite women to draw their life paths — starting from their birth until now. They should illustrate their life paths as a flowing river, moving from one place to another, sometimes shifting course. Ask participants to highlight “gratitude/ blessing points” along the way — times on their life journey where they had experiences for which they are grateful. When participants have completed their River of Life/ River of Blessing boards, ask for volunteers to share what they have done with the other participants. Discuss with participants: a. As you look back on your River of Life, how does it make you feel? b. Are there any points in your River of Life that felt like disappointments or obstacles at the time, but that you now see as blessings? c. As you move forward in your River of Life, how can you continue to appreciate all the blessings that you have? 6. Give a brief overview of the rest of the unit. Encourage participants to set up times with a friend to continue their learning (“Learn With Your JWRP Sister” sections). Point them to the chart at the end of the unit where they can set goals for hakarat hatov and assess their progress. 7. 8. 9. 9. Gratitude Journals Give out small notebooks, journals or scrapbooks to participants. Encourage them to write down every night (either individually or as a whole-family activity) three things for which they are grateful from that day. Participants should continue to fill in the gratitude journal every night, and to observe the difference that hakarat hatov, gratitude and awareness of blessings, will make in their lives. As part of the closure, highlight participation and things said and shared. Noticing the attention, the listening, the growing unity in the group helps to grow these qualities. Recall the main ideas explored in the session. Challenge everyone to do one thing before the next session that will lead to more hakarat hatov (e.g. keeping a gratitude journal, reciting Modeh Ani or blessings, creating a list of 100 blessings with the rest of the family) and come prepared to talk about it at the next session. Let all know when you’ll be meeting again and what will be the theme explored.
48  hak arat hatov  5.   River of Life  River of Blessing     Give out poster board and markers, and invite women to draw ...
hak arat hatov Notes 49
hak arat hatov  Notes  49
50 Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut Sisterhood And Unity – Achdut ‫אחדות‬
50  Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  Sisterhood And Unity      Achdut
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut 51
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  51
52 Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut On our JWRP trip, we connected with Jews from many different countries, backgrounds and denominations, and discovered that we can all sing, dance and talk together. We found that there is so much more that unites us than divides us, and that understanding our sisters’ points of view enriched our own. How can we continue to build on the achdut, unity, that we experienced on the trip and bring it to our families and communities? As you read through and discuss this unit, ask yourself these questions: • What could Jewish unity look like? What does unity mean when we don’t agree about things we think are important? • What is the Jewish way to argue? Could disagreement support unity? • How can I help create Jewish unity?
52  Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  On our JWRP trip, we connected with Jews from many different countries, backgrounds an...
53 Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut After the People of Israel are saved from Egypt, they travel in the desert to Mount Sinai to receive the Torah. Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, France, 1040-1105), the famous Biblical and Talmudic commentator, focuses our attention on a grammatical curiosity: the Torah uses the singular form, rather than the plural form, to tell us that the Israelites camped opposite Mount Sinai. Shemot (Exodus) 19:1-2 In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt, on the first of the month, they came to the desert of Sinai. They had departed from Rephidim and had arrived in the Sinai Desert, camping in the wilderness. Israel encamped opposite the mountain. ‫ ב וַ ּיִ ְסעּו‬.‫יִ ְׂש ָר ֵאל ֵמ ֶא ֶרץ ִמ ְצ ָריִם ַּבּיֹום ַהּזֶ ה ָּבאּו ִמ ְד ַּבר ִסינָי‬-‫יׁשי לְ ֵצאת ְּבנֵי‬ ִ ִ‫א ַּבח ֶֹדׁש ַה ְּׁשל‬ .‫ׁשם יִ ְׂש ָר ֵאל נֶ גֶ ד ָה ָהר‬-‫ן‬ ָ ‫ֵמ ְר ִפ ִידים וַ ּיָ בֹאּו ִמ ְד ַּבר ִסינַי וַ ּיַ ֲחנּו ַּב ִּמ ְד ָּבר וַ ּיִ ַח‬ Rashi’s Commentary on Shemot 19:2 and Israel encamped there: Heb. ‫יִחן‬ ַ ַ‫ ו‬, [the singular form, denoting that they encamped there] as one man with one heart, but all the other encampments were [divided] with complaints and with strife1. ‫ אבל שאר כל החניות‬,‫— כאיש אחד בלב אחד‬ ‫רש”י שמות פרק יט ויחן שם ישראל‬ :‫בתרעומת ובמחלוקת‬ Translation from: http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9880# 1 • What do you think Rashi means when he says that the People of Israel at Mount Sinai were like “one man with one heart”? • What do you think enabled the People of Israel to come together with one heart at this moment, when they had been so divided before? • Have you ever experienced a time when you felt like “one person with one heart” with the Jewish people? Explain.
53  Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  After the People of Israel are saved from Egypt, they travel in the desert to Mount Si...
54 Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut
54  Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut 55 Unity through Diversity The Beauty of Diversity Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 58a • What are we trying to achieve when we talk about Jewish unity? Our Rabbis taught: If one sees a crowd of Israelites, he says, “Blessed is the One who discerns secrets,” for the mind of each is different from that of the other, and the face of each is different from that of the other. • Does unity mean that we all think the same and act the same? ‫ת”ר הרואה אוכלוסי ישראל אומר ברוך חכם הרזים שאין דעתם דומה זה לזה ואין‬ ‫פרצופיהן דומים זה לזה‬ Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ha’azinu (5773) – Let My Teaching Fall Like Rain: The Torah is compared to rain precisely to emphasize that its most important effect is to make each of us grow into what we could become. We are not all the same, nor does Torah seek uniformity. As a famous Mishnah puts it: When a human being makes many coins from the same mint, they are all the same. God makes everyone in the same image – His image – yet none is the same as another. (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5) • What do these sources teach you about the rabbis’ view of diversity? • How is it possible to have unity if we are all so different? Activity: Creating a Sisterhood Community Ball Set up chairs in a circle. As you continue to study together, each person who speaks should wrap colorful yarn around a piece of cardboard prepared in advance. There’s no rule on how much needs to be wrapped; just talk and wrap as little or as much as you’d like. Then, pass the cardboard and yarn to the next speaker. It might be helpful to have a neighbor hold the yarn. At the end of the conversation you will have created a Sisterhood Ball weaving together the diversity of your group into unity. (The Facilitator’s Guide at the end of the Section has more information).
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  55  Unity through Diversity The Beauty of Diversity Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 58a       W...
56 Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut The Colors of Unity Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935) was a great mystic, Torah scholar and Jewish leader, and the first Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Mandatory Palestine. He honored all Jews, no matter their background or attitude toward religious observance, and believed we had much to learn from each other. In this text, Rabbi Hillel Rachmani explores Rabbi Kook’s vision of unity: Writing Exercise Writing in silence allow your thoughts to flow freely, unedited. Consider: • Where are you with unity? Consider different circles in your life. • Where would you like to be? • What holds you back? • What piece of advice do you have for yourself? * Text taken from www.unityprize.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Short-StoryWorkshop-v2.0.pdf You recognize that whereas you are red and your neighbor is blue, you are both equally important, yet different, aspects of white. Once you recognize that everything is bathed in this upper white light of unity which descends from a single God and is the origin of your red and your neighbor’s blue, and then it is possible for different groups within society to live side by side, without conflict, and in unity — unity of origin, unity of goal, and unity of essence.* • How does Rabbi Kook explain it being possible for people to be so different, and yet live in unity? • Think of your own family. How is one member of your family “red” and another “blue”? How might they combine to form a “white light of unity”? • Are there some perspectives that do not contribute to the “white light of unity” and in fact create real harm? How can we distinguish between those perspectives, and ideas and opinions that, while different from our own, are part of the “white light of unity”? • How would your life change if you viewed other Jews who are different from you as beautiful colors who are also part of God’s prism?
56  Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  The Colors of Unity Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook  1865-1935  was a great mystic, Torah sch...
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut 57
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  57
58 Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut Learn With Your JWRP Sister: How Should We Disagree? Since we are all so different, we are bound to have disagreements. At times we think the perspective or actions of another are outright wrong or even destructive. Jewish tradition teaches us that not all disagreements are alike: there are disagreements for the sake of Heaven and disagreements that are not. How might we learn to disagree with each other in ways that are productive and in true service of God, the Jewish people and humanity? The following sources give us some insights. Disagreement for the Sake of Heaven The following is the example our sages offer of a disagreement for the sake of Heaven: Babylonian Talmud, Eruvin 13b For three years, there was a dispute [actually many disputes] between the School of Shammai and the School of Hillel, the former asserting, “The law (halacha) is according to our view, and the latter asserting, “The law is according to our view.” Then a voice issued from heaven announcing, “The teachings of both are the words of the living God, but the law is in agreement with the school of Hillel.” But [it was asked] since both are words of the living God, for what reason was the School of Hillel entitled to have the law determined according to their rulings? 4 Translation by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, The Book of Jewish Values, pp. 186-7. Because they were kindly and humble, and because they studied their own rulings and those of the School of Shammai, and even mentioned the teachings of the School of Shammai before their own.”4 • What was so important about the School of Hillel’s approach to disagreement? • How can you incorporate Hillel’s method into your own disagreements?
58  Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  Learn With Your JWRP Sister  How Should We Disagree  Since we are all so different, we...
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut 59 Disagreement And Its Potential for Cultivating Growth Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (1772-1811) was a Chasidic master and religious thinker, and the founder of the Breslov Chasidic movement. His disciple Reb Noson wrote the book Chayei Moharan about Rabbi Nachman’s life. The Life of Rabbi Nachman, Chayei Moharan, Avodat Hashem, 58 I heard in the name of Rabbi Nachman who said: Through disagreeing (machloket) with a person you can do him or her a favor, because through it the person can grow and develop. It’s like when planting a seed in the soil — if the soil is so tightly packed together the seed cannot grow and develop into a tree in uniformly solid soil. It is necessary for the soil to be [aerated], divided up (mechuleket) a little in order for there to be room for the tree to grow. So it is when one has a disagreement with another; there could be in it an offering of spaciousness for [new thinking] growth and development 5. • According to Rabbi Nachman, what is important about disagreement (machloket)? • How could Rabbi Nachman’s perspective on disagreement affect how we disagree with other Jews? How might these ideas enrich our thinking about the relationship between disagreement and unity? 5 Translation by Dr. Ronit Ziv-Kreger. Consider the following questions, allowing first thoughts that come to mind to be written in a stream of consciousness way. • What might this perspective on disagreement offer you? Where in your life can you transform an experience of disagreement into an opportunity for growth? Where are you with disagreements? Where would you like to be? What gets in the way? What advice do you have for yourself? • After you’ve both written, share one or more thoughts with your partner. • Take turns, listening attentively and lovingly to the other, without giving advice but asking clarifying and supporting questions, if helpful.
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  59  Disagreement And Its Potential for Cultivating Growth Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav  1772-1...
60 Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut Learn With Your JWRP Sister: Spotlight On Israel – A Time for Unity Unity Day From ‘Bring Back Our Boys’ to ‘Unity Day’ This piece was written by Iris and Ori Ifrach, Rachelli and Avi Fraenkel, and Bat-Galim and Ofer Shaer, the parents of Eyal Ifrach, Gil-ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel 6 One year ago, our families were thrust into a nightmare beyond anything we could have ever imagined. Our sons, Eyal Ifrach, Gil-ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel, had been kidnapped while making their way home from school. For 18 (chai) days, we hovered somewhere between despair and hope while we prayed for their safe return. Tragically, that would not come to pass. Our boys joined the thousands before them who lost their lives as Jews and in the name of our ancient homeland. continue this spirit in memory of our boys. During that period of uncertainty we all shared an intense sense of unity, unlike anything our people had experienced in recent years, with the message of “Bring Back Our Boys” reaching people from so many different backgrounds and places. The feeling of togetherness, of belonging and caring for one another only increased in fervor during the funerals and the shiva. And today we are incredibly inspired by the actions people have taken to During the shiva, our homes overflowed with visitors seeking to offer us comfort, and so many conversations stood out. Iris and Ori Ifrach, Rachelli and Avi Fraenkel, and Bat-Galim and Ofer Shaer, From ‘Bring Back Our Boys’ to ‘Unity Day’, JTA, May 26, 2015. 6 But in one interaction, with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who made his way to each of our homes, a seed of an idea was hatched that we knew needed to be developed. He said that we needed to find a way to harness that spirit of unity and keep it alive because this would serve as the ultimate legacy for our sons. And so the idea of the Jerusalem Unity Prize was conceived. . . . [We later] embarked on the concept of Unity Day . . . where Jewish communities all over the globe stop and consider the value of unity and how to work even harder to bridge the obvious divides that exist within our society. There is no doubt that those divisions waned during those terrible days a year ago. But tragedy cannot be the primary catalyst for unity. Rather, it is incumbent
60  Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  Learn With Your JWRP Sister  Spotlight On Israel     A Time for Unity Unity Day From  ...
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut 61 • If you could speak with the mothers who wrote this letter, what would you like to hear and learn from them? What else? • What do you imagine they might answer? upon us to harness the lessons of that time to build a better society. During the course of the year, we have all had our own personal moments to reflect on where these events will take us in the future. Indeed, we all have our personal answers and know that the road ahead will not always be easy. But we also know that this path will not be taken alone. Through the power of the memories of Eyal, Gil-ad and Naftali, not only will their deaths have brought us together but their Photo by Tomer Neuberg/ Flash90 memories will have as well. In that spirit, it is our eternal joint prayer that they be remembered not simply as victims of a brutal tragedy but also as three “normal” boys who succeeded in bringing a nation together. May the memories of Eyal, Gil-ad and Naftali inspire us all to really live as one people with one heart. Plan A Unity Project What can you do to create a more unified Jewish community? Find out when Unity Day is this year (go to www.unityprize.org/en) and create a program or activity that brings Jews together: • Bring together a group • Set a shared vision • Consider who can be your allies • Set a timeline that include celebrating successes along the way • Divide up the tasks • Have a champion for each task.
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  61       If you could speak with the mothers who wrote this letter, what would you like to...
62 Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut an Israeli Unity Day Prize Winner Kesher Yehudi (the Jewish Connection) is an organization that seeks to create connections between Ultra-Orthodox (haredi) and secular Jews through Torah study. Think Again: Yes, Jewish Unity Is Possible Jonathan Rosenblum, Jerusalem Post, June 10, 2016 TZILA SCHNEIDER, the 54-yearold mother of 11 who founded Kesher Yehudi seven years ago, would at first glance seem an unlikely societal mover and shaker. She grew up in Mea She’arim, next door to Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, in a family of Slonimer Hassidim. Her core message has remained clear and consistent from the beginning: Torah belongs to the entire Jewish people and to every Jew individually. Much of her effort has been directed at changing attitudes in her own haredi world. First and foremost, she seeks to shake the complacent assumption that non-obPhoto: kesher-yehudi.com servant Jews have no interest in Torah learning and therefore haredim need feel no obligation to seek to engage them in Torah study. For that engagement to take place, a change in attitude is required. Schneider tells the haredi study partners: “If you view your participation only as an act of hessed [charity] for an ignorant secular Jew, this is not the program for you. If you do not believe that every time two Jews meet each has something to offer the other and that both can gain and grow from the relationship, this is not the program for you.” With that perspective, true friendships are formed. I have been at several gatherings where women who have been studying over the phone for a period of time meet each other for the first time in person. It is common to see them sit for the next two hours with their arms around each other and say of each other, “She is my best friend.” The joy in the connection goes both ways. Faigy, 38, of Betar Illit, says of her study partner: “Liat is a friend for life. I could never have dreamed up someone like her, and now I can’t imagine life without her.” While from the other side of the secular-religious divide, Etti, a lawyer from Tel Aviv, says, “It is fun to rediscover each time [we study] that the Torah is the precious possession of every Jew. And it does not matter where you are coming from, the Torah is glue holding us together.” “I started this organization because of my strong belief that it is possible to overcome the alienation and mutual fear between religious and non-observant Jews. But that will be done only by the nation itself, the thousands of participants in our programs,” Schneider [says]. *To read about other Israel Unity Prize winners, check out www.unityprize.org/en
62  Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  an Israeli Unity Day Prize Winner Kesher Yehudi  the Jewish Connection  is an organiza...
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut 63 In the words of the Shema prayer: “Sh'ma Yis-ra-eil, A-do-nai E-lohei-nu, A-do-nai E-chad,” “Hear, Oh Israel, A-do-nai our God, A-donai is One,” the word “Echad” (one), does not speak so much about the number one, but more about the ultimate Oneness, unity and interconnectedness of life. • Writing in silence allow your thoughts to flow freely, unedited. Consider: • Where have you experienced glimpses of the interconnectedness and Oneness of life? What was the experience like for you? • Think back to your childhood and other key times in your life. What is the history of your relationship with God? • How do you relate to the notion of “our God?” • For you, how are God and unity related or unrelated? • What connections did you form on your JWRP trip with Jewish women who seemed very different from you? • What surprised you most about those connections? • How can you continue to build bridges in the Jewish community? • With whom in your life is it hard to connect? How might you make a connection? What support could help you? • How would you describe your relationship with God? What about it is close or distant? • How might your life be different if you had a closer relationship with God? • What relationship do you see between God and Oneness or unity?
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  63  In the words of the Shema prayer     Sh ma Yis-ra-eil, A-do-nai E-lohei-nu, A-do-nai E...
64 Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut Learn With Your JWRP Sister: 7 Habits of Jewish Unity David Bratslavsky, the Executive Director of the USIsrael Business Council, delivered an ELI Talk in 2013 outlining 7 key habits of mind and practice to create a more unified Jewish community. Expand our definition of “us” We are all one family . and one community Teach shared values, then dis cuss particulars There is so muc h more that unites us than di vides us. Before reading them, consider with your partner: what 7 habits might you suggest for building Jewish unity in your community? Then consider David Bratslavsky’s list, and see how it is similar and different from your thinking: . Define the right “them” Figure out who our true adversaries are, the real challenges that affect all of us.
64  Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  Learn With Your JWRP Sister  7 Habits of Jewish Unity David Bratslavsky, the Executive...
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut 65 Proactively discover and work on common goals Figure out who our true adversaries are, the real challenges that affect all of us. Share common space Give and receive together Find ways to share space together — by attending shared events or inviting others to your home. We must give to all kinds of Jews. We all rise and fall together. . It is up to me! ity Take personal responsibil to achieve Jewish unity. • Which of these ideas have you already been bringing to your family and which might you now focus on bringing to your family, workplace, and community? • Which of these ideas can you put into practice this week? • What might you do with your JWRP sisters or with others?
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  65  Proactively discover and work on common goals Figure out who our true adversaries are,...
66 Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut Try It Out: Practical Tips and Resources for Families Ideas for bringing the value of Achdut into your family life: • Invite to your home Jews from different backgrounds or denominations for a meal or game night. • Show your children the Jewish unity video at unityprize.org/en. • Practice with your children the “Hillel way” of arguing — by first restating and considering the other side’s point of view. Make it into a game at the dinner table. • Share the Unity Day website with your family and brainstorm together on a project that you can do to bring more unity to the Jewish people. • Bring your family to a Jewish community day at your local park or center. If your community doesn’t have one, create one! • Ban all disparaging comments about others. If someone in your family puts down another type of Jew, have them send a $5 tzedakah contribution to a Jewish unity organization. • When deciding upon your family’s tzedakah commitments, make sure to include a donation to an organization that works for all Jews — and not just your particular affiliation. • Consider celebrating the holiday of Shavuot this year — the receiving of the Torah — in a way that emphasises the value of unity. • Consider saying the Shema prayer: “Sh’ma Yis-ra-eil, A-do-nai E-lohei-nu, A-do-nai E-chad” by yourself, or with your children at bedtime. When reciting the last word “Echad” (one), focus on the oneness of the Jewish people through unity, interconnectedness, and achdut.
66  Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  Try It Out  Practical Tips and Resources for Families Ideas for bringing the value of ...
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut 67
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  67
68 Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut Use this chart to plan and track your progress regarding Jewish unity: Acknowledgment (Vidui) Vision (Teshuvah) How has it been? Where are you with the value of unity? How would you like it to be? What gets in the way & what can you do to reorient towards your best self?
68  Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  Use this chart to plan and track your progress regarding Jewish unity  Acknowledgment ...
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut 69 Goals (Kabbalah) Accountability Small and doable steps — including a concrete daily practice — toward attaining your vision of best self in terms of unity. What evidence can you collect to know you are making progress? Who can help hold you accountable on your goals? How? when?
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  69  Goals  Kabbalah   Accountability  Small and doable steps      including a concrete dai...
70 Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut Blintzes Recipe by Claudia Roden, The Book of Jewish Food10 Directions Sour cream to pass around 2 teaspoons cinnamon to sprinkle on (optional) Zest of 1 and 1/2 lemons 1/2 cup or more sugar, to taste 1 lb curd cheese 1/2 lb cream cheese 2-3 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter Confectioners’ sugar to sprinkle on (optional) 3/4 cup currants or raisins soaked in a little rum for 1/2 hour (optional) A few drops of vanilla extract (optional) 3 egg yolks 1/2 Tablespoon oil plus more for greasing the pan 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 egg 2/3 cup water 1 cup flour 1 1/4 cups milk Add the milk and water to the flour gradually, beating vigorously. Add the egg, salt, and oil and beat the batter until smooth. Leave to rest for 1-2 hours. Heat a preferably nonstick frying pan–with a bottom not wider than 8 inches (20 cm)–and grease very slightly with oil. Pour about half a ladleful of batter into the frying pan and move the pan around so the entire surface is covered with batter. The batter and the resulting pancake should be thin. As soon as the pancake is slightly browned and detached, turn it over with a spatula and cook a moment only on the other side. Continue until all the batter is used and put the pancakes in a pile. For the filling, blend the curd and cream cheese with the sugar, lemon zest, egg yolks, and vanilla, if you like, in a food processor. Then stir in the raisins, if using. Take each pancake, 1 at a time, put 2 heaping tablespoons of filling on the bottom half, fold the edge of the pancake over the filling, tuck in the sides so that it is trapped, and roll up into a slim roll. Place the rolls side by side in a greased oven dish. Sprinkle with butter and bake in a preheated 375 F (190 C) oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot, dusted with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon, if you like, and pass the sour cream for people to help themselves if they want to.
70  Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  Blintzes Recipe by Claudia Roden, The Book of Jewish Food10  Directions Sour cream to ...
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut Variations For an apple filling: Peel and core 2 lbs (1 kg) apples. Steam in a pan with the lid on and only a drop of water. Then puree and sweeten with sugar to taste, and add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a few gratings of nutmeg. For a cherry filling: Pit 2 lbs (1 kg) cherries and steam them in a pan with the lid on. Some mix this with 1/2 cup (75 g) ground almonds and 2 or 3 drops of almond extract. 71
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  Variations For an apple filling  Peel and core 2 lbs  1 kg  apples. Steam in a pan with th...
72 Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut Facilitator’s Guide In this session, we explore the value of achdut, unity The Guiding Questions in this unit are: • What should Jewish unity look like? Does it mean that we all always agree? • What is the Jewish way to argue? How can it lead to unity? • How can I help create Jewish unity? Advance preparation for leading this session and empowering your participants to learn and lead: In advance, invite a few participants to take a small role in leading the session such as: • The intended outcomes for participants in this conversation are that they: Hosting the session at their home or another interesting and fitting venue. • Facilitating the conversation about diversity and unity with you. • Appreciate the difference between unity and uniformity. • • Participants will appreciate the diversity of the Jewish people, and will look at others who are different from them as complementing them and helping create the “whole” of the Jewish people. Leading the Sisterhood Community Ball Activity — purchase colorfull yarn (consider rainbow colored), learn how to make a community ball by watching this short instructional video: http:// vimeo.com/149686933, gather the materails needed for leading the activity: manila folder, quality sissors, and yarn. • In their disagreements, participants will follow the path of Hillel and give respect to others’ views, and will look at disagreement as an opportunity for growth. • Leading a conversation to generate ideas on how to bring elements of the learning to share with your family at home. • Participants will become inspired by Unity Day and implement the 7 habits of highly unified Jews in their own families and communities. Remember: the more you involve your participants the more they will own the learning and the better you will be preparing them to take leadership in their family and their community.
72  Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  Facilitator   s Guide In this session, we explore the value of achdut, unity  The Guid...
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut Suggestions for how to lead this session: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Begin by reminding everyone that we are in our Sisterhood Safe Space. Recall the last session together, and if the group is small enough and time is sufficient, invite each to share with the group; otherwise ask each to share with a partner she has not spoke with much recently. Ask: Has the learning of the last session impacted you? If so, how? If not, why? Lead into the topic of unity by asking participants about their experience on the JWRP trip. How would they describe their experience of being with so many Jewish women from different countries, backgrounds and religious denominations? Did they feel a sense of unity on the trip? Were they surprised by the connections they formed with other Jewish women? You may wish to show the Jewish Unity video at http://bit.ly/2bVwgym. Read together the Torah text about arriving at Mount Sinai, and Rashi’s commentary. Ask participants why they think the Children of Israel were able to reach a state of unity at Mount Sinai, but were unable to do so elsewhere. Compare participants experience of unity on the JWRP trip to the Sinai experience. What can they do to make sure that the sense of unity they had on the JWRP trip can be achieved now that they are back home? Have a participant introduce the Sisterhood Community Ball Activity. (In future sessions, you might choose to use the ball for a game or as a “talking stick”). Discuss with the women whether unity must mean uniformity; if the only way we can be united as a people is to all think and act the same way. Read the sources about the blessing for a crowd and Rabbi Sacks’s explanation of how Torah is compared to rain. Discuss: if we are all so different, how can we achieve unity? 73 7. 8. 9. Read Rabbi Kook’s understanding of unity, emphasizing that while we are all different, we come from the same “white light.” Ask participants to think about the different “colors” in their families or in your JWRP group, and how each color works with the others to form the whole. You may wish to have participants thank others in the group for their specific talents or characteristics that are so important to the “whole” of the group. Play a quite calm song for about 6 minutes and invite women to take private space to write in silence. The goal of the writing is to give each person time to reflect and personalize the learning. Invite participants to write freely, uncensored, and to imagine how they might be affected by the wisdom of the texts and the conversation. As part of the closure, highlight participation and things said and shared. Noticing the attention, the listening, the growing unity in the group helps to grow these qualities. Recall the main ideas explored in the session. 10. Challenge everyone to do one thing before the next session that will lead to more Jewish unity (e.g. inviting over someone to your home who is different than you, making an attempt to understand a perspective with which you disagree) and come prepared to talk about it at the next session. 12. Give a brief overview of the rest of the unit. Encourage participants to set up times with a friend to continue their learning (“Learn With Your JWRP Sister” sections). Point them to the big ideas in each of the partner sessions and then to the Vidui chart at the end of the unit where they can set goals for achdut and assess their progress. Consider setting a time for a group phone or Zoom (online) conversation about a Unity Project explained in the second partner session that describes the Unity Day Prize. 13. Let all know when you’ll be meeting again and what will be the theme explored.
Sisterhood And Unit y - Achdut  Suggestions for how to lead this session  1.   2.    3.   4.   5.  6.   Begin by reminding...
Jewish Women's Renaissance Project 6101 Executive Blvd, Suite 126 Rockville, MD 20852 (240) 283-6371 info@ jwrp.org jwrp.org
Jewish Women s Renaissance Project 6101 Executive Blvd, Suite 126 Rockville, MD 20852  240  283-6371 info  jwrp.org  jwrp....