Resource Type: Articles

By Talya Gordon | I don’t have the answers for how or even if we will be okay. Right now, all we can do is sit with the pain and be honest about how we are doing. We are not okay. We need the world to do more. We need to mourn and cry and take care of ourselves. We need support from non-Jews, so we know people outside of our community care about our safety.
On college campuses, which are homes for student activism and academic debate, students are describing hostile environments, hate speech, and incidents of violence based on perceived or actual religious affiliation or nationality. These attacks threaten their sense of safety and well-being. To protect the mental health of all students, The Jed Foundation (JED) suggests colleges and universities take the following actions to engage students and support their mental health during this time and beyond.
By Miriam A.G. Baumgartner | Many of us think of a mi shebeirach as a prayer for healing. But one can say a mi shebeirach for other reasons as well. Simply put, a mi shebeirach is a Jewish prayer used to request a blessing from God. Its format — invoking God in the name of the patriarchs and matriarchs and then making a case that a specific person or group should be blessed — dates to the 10th or 11th century CE in Babylonia. At that time, it was used to bless the congregation or the people gathered for prayer.
By Betsy Stone, Ph.D. | We urgently need to support parents, teachers and other communal professionals who work directly with children with resources for speaking with young people about what is going on as the present conflict continues to evolve.
“Kol Yisrael arevim zeh la zeh – All Jews are responsible for one another” is a Talmudic phrase most often used as a call to action. A symbol of the responsibility we should feel for the well-being of others. It is also a sign of unity and strength, and it reminds us that we are never truly alone in our struggles.
By Max Hollander | In the desert, there is only anxiety, but the holiday of Sukkot asks us to embrace that desert experience because without it we wouldn’t get anywhere. We don’t just read about it; we live it, residing in the sukkah for an entire week. And, in doing so, we learn to accept the reality that we are allowed to shake or stumble on our journeys and shouldn’t be ashamed of that.
By Ze’ev Korn, LCSW, MSW, EdM | On Rosh Hashanah, Jews around the world will read the same section of the Torah. It is the story of the birth of Isaac, or Yitzhak in Hebrew, whose name means laughter. What a way to begin the new year, with the gift of laughter and humor being brought into the world. While everyone has experienced the pleasure of laughing, I (and I imagine others) have also known the experience of losing one’s sense of humor.
By Tori Greene | The holiday of Sukkot is a time when we as Jews from all around the world take our indoor lives outdoors as we build temporary dwellings — called sukkot — to eat, hang out and even sleep in. After spending about a month and a half from Elul to Yom Kippur, delving inward and focusing on the self, Sukkot pulls us outward.​ It requires us to interact with community and nature in a way that can be rejuvenating for the soul and, potentially, for the mind.
Simchat Torah speaks to us in two ways. First, the completion and renewal of the Torah can show those of us stuck in or holding onto the past that we can begin again, and we aren’t alone in our need for a fresh start. Second, when all else fails, sometimes we just need to move our body. Simchat Torah provides a jumpstart of fun, excitement and dance we can use to pull ourselves out of our own heads and into our bodies, which can serve as a form of informal dance therapy.