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My Jewish Journeys

Yom Kippur 2021

Margie Bogdanow

Good Yuntuf,

This afternoon I am going to talk to you about my Tallit. Like my Tallit, Judaism for me is pretty much all encompassing. It is wrapped around me - not separate. I have been wearing my Tallit yearly on Yom Kippur since I turned 50 and decided that I wanted a Tallit – not something that I imagined wanting or wearing growing up female in a Conservative temple in Newton. So, my own personal in-house...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2020

Holly Lebowitz Rossi

There’s really only one time in my 46 years of life so far when I’ve seriously considered not identifying as a Jew. That was when my great-grandparents were disinterred from their burial plots in a Jewish cemetery in Cincinnati, and the funeral director offered to pp the urns containing their cremated remains by UPS to my mother’s doorstep in Maryland. At the time, in 2007, I was a longtime Hebrew School teacher at a synagogue in...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2018

Jay Kaufman

It was an honor to be asked to be part of this Yom Kippur service.

To say that I was hesitant to accept the invitation is to seriously understate my hesitancy.

I was hesitant because my Jewish journey is anything but linear.  It is one of jigs and jogs, zigs and zags.

I was hesitant because it is anything but over.  The sands were shifting under me as I thought about these...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2017

FayeRuth Fisher

My Jewish journey is not one that spans continents, countries, or even states. Behind this Temple is the wooded path I used to walk through to come to Hebrew school three times a week during elementary school, twice a week for Hebrew High, to my Sunday school job working under the steady mentorship of Lois Edelstein, and to LEFTY board meetings. And while not cutting through the woods from my parents anymore, I still come several times a...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2015

Linda K. Wertheimer

Once I turned 5, I joined my older brothers for a weekly dose of Judaism every Sunday at a temple religious school. At first, it wasn’t too bad because we lived only 15 minutes away from the temple. But when I was 9, my family moved to Findlay, Ohio. The closest temple was about 60 miles away. During the hour drive, my father puffed cigarettes. He refused to stop despite my complaints about the smoke seeping into the back seat where I sat...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2015

Don Detweiler

Yom tov, everyone.       

Hi I'm Don Detweiler.

For those who don't know me –
 I’m a long time, dedicated temple member, Chair of the SAC, husband of Fran Detweiler and father of two 20-something adult children, Noah and Riva.  I’ve seen both my kids become bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah here on this bimah.  I’ve worshipped, learned, - and enjoyed the deep connection to community...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2014

Sandy Whitecross

My spiritual journey began at an early age, attending religious school and holiday services, and I was very active in youth group from 7th grade on. As the first teen in the congregations’ history to be invited to join a standing committee, I agreed to serve on the Board of Education.

There was an article in the Milford Daily News, Monday Evening, September 25, 1972. Title: “Candidates for Pastor Interviewed in Millis.” The...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2013

Elaine Smith

I feel honored to share with you my own Jewish journey.  I have never felt that what I have given and received from my religion was so very unique     But we’ll see.

For this journey I begin with my parents, both of whom were American born  of Conservative Jewish  background,.  my  mother   raised in Flushing, Long Island,  my father  born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut,...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2013

Bruce Ward

It is a joy for me to share this honor with Elaine Smith in the telling of our very different Jewish journeys. Our Kol Nidre liturgy speaks of life as a journey, although we did not read that portion last night --- but life is journey we are on for some time before that realization hits us. The same is true for my Jewish journey. I was on that journey for a long time before it hit me, but unlike life, it is still unclear where my Jewish...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2012

George Silverman

My journey began at the Boston Lying in Hospital on March 2, 1940. Both of my parents were Jewish.  Hence, I was Jewish at birth.  At the time of my birth my mother was 45.  The Doctor reported to my mother that he had never seen a goofier grin then when he informed my father that a boy had been born.  Let me tell you something of who my Jewish parents were.

My mother was born in Minsk, Russia, and was one of 8...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2010

Irving Belansky

Shabbat Shalom

Thank you Rabbi Jaffe for providing me the opportunity to share a brief review of my personal Jewish Journey and a very special thanks to Sydney Abrams for telling us about her Journey.

As you can imagine it is exceedingly difficult to condense almost 80 years of an active Jewish Journey into a 10 minute talk. However, I need to tell you about 3 significant subjects which informed and influenced my Jewish...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2010

Sydney Abrams

Good afternoon. My name is Sydney Abrams. Today, I would like to share a journey with all of you, a journey that is very close to my heart.

I grew up in a home filled with Christmas trees and Hanukkah candles. My home was decorated in one room with green and red. The other room was decorated in blue and white. My home is an interfaith home where my mother is Catholic and my father is Jewish. Both of my parents felt that it was...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2009

Richard McGowan

My name is Richard Stuart McGowan v’Yitzchak ben Avaraham v’Sarah

This little speech is loosely entitled: What’s in a Name?

I am going to break a rule of public speaking and provide many details in a short amount of time. I ask your indulgence.

First is family background. It will indicate a variety of ethnic roots, yet some lack of religious background.

My maternal grandfather, Richard Hawkins, was from...

Yom Kippur 2009

Jerry Harris

Joseph Stalin was born into a relatively wealthy family, in Gori, Georgia, a small town 40 miles outside of Tiblisi, Russia, December 21, 1879.  Julius, my grandfather, was born in Tiblisi, Georgia ten years earlier in 1869 to a family that had a small shop where his parents sold brooms and shovels. A few years before emigrating to the United States my grandfather was drafted into the Tzar's Army sometime in his late teens. The story of...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2008

Sue Tafler

I remember temple shopping with my father back when I was in first and second grade. Would we join the Conservative or Reform congregation in Albany? My mother’s Eastern European immigrant parents spoke Yiddish, kept Kosher, and were strong Zionists, and my Zayde davened at a small Orthodox shul in downtown Albany, but Orthodox wasn’t an option for my agnostic father raised in Jewish but secular foster homes in the Bronx, whose three...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2008

Sam Mendales

I want you to know that after Rabbi Brown’s wonderful sermon last night, I am updating my status on Facebook as we speak.

When Rabbi Jaffe asked me to share my Jewish journey with you today, my first impulse was to say no. I am someone who has constantly ricocheted between belief and disbelief. I am a person whose personal history has both denied the presence of a loving creator and confirmed His, Her or Its existence. As we said...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2007

Rob Meyer

Shana Tova.

Some of you may remember that a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I  stood up here with some regularity to address the congregation. But when  Rabbi Jaffe asked me if I would once again ascend the bimah, this time to  describe my Jewish journey on the afternoon of Yom Kippur, I first felt  tremendously honored, then somewhat intimidated, and finally, frankly  terrified. Now, having accepted...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2007

Lynn Asinof

Nearly 20 years ago, my son Jeremy—then four—posed an interesting question. Having been thoroughly coached on the importance of respecting other people’s religious traditions, he had just returned from an outing with his Dad that took them past a Christmas tree lot. With great seriousness, he approached the question of his soon-to-be-born brother’s religious identity. “What if Daniel turns out to be Christian?” he asked....Read more...

Yom Kippur 2006

Florence Harris

I am standing here today because of a question I once asked Rabbi Jaffe. He had not yet become our rabbi, and there was something important I needed to know about him. “How do you view congregants who don’t think they believe in God?” I asked. It was not a question he expected. But his answer was swift and sure. “With respect,” he said, in essence. I was satisfied.

Today he has asked me to answer a question. Why am I here?...Read more...

Yom Kippur 2006

Robert Nierman

It is with great humility and some trepidation that I stand before God and this holy community in this sacred space “as the gates are opening” to share my spiritual journey. I pray that, though I be of little merit at this awesome moment for Jews everywhere, that something of what I share may enhance the depth of even one soul’s experience here.

For me, my spiritual journey, the journey of my spirit, is the journey of my soul....Read more...

Yom Kippur 2006

George Foote

Shana Tova This is a season when we are asked to humble our souls. I consider myself quite humbled to come before you to speak to you today about my spiritual journey. In fact, I have always felt humbled by the warmth and generosity of the Isaiah community and thankful to be welcomed by it. It began in 1976, when Susan and I were first welcomed by Harry and Ruth Cronson at the first Friday night service we attended at TempleIsaiah. I also...Read more...

Thu, April 18 2024 10 Nisan 5784