Rethinking Sukkot: Women, Relationships & Jewish Texts

Just in time for your sukkah dinners, JWI is releasing the third in a series of study guides related to women, relati...

Just in time for your sukkah dinners, JWI is releasing the third in a series of study guides related to women, relationships, and Jewish texts. JWI envisions women, men, families, friends, study partners, and others sitting around tables in beautifully decorated sukkahs, eating delicious food, and engaged in discussions based on the texts and conversation starters in the guide.

Sukkot occurs as the weather is changing and we feel the beauty of nature. We enjoy eating outside during the first days of fall and welcoming guests for a festive meal before the weather turns cold. The holiday almost encourages us to reflect on the change in season and what change can mean to us. The guide explores several well known prayers and readings for Sukkot and starts conversations about the themes of inspiration, protection, and spiritual growth. It opens the door to discussions about healthy choices and meaningful relationships. It encourages reflection on whether or not we are making the best decisions for ourselves and our families.

These guides have been written by JWI's Clergy Task Force on Domestic Abuse in the Jewish Community in order to encourage healthy relationships. JWI appreciate their contributions to the project and the opportunities it creates for thoughtful conversations. Their earlier Purim and Shavuot guides were widely used and are also available on the JWI website.

JWI encourages you to download the guide from their website, http://www.jwi.org/holidayguides, and explore the concept of sukkat shalom, a home of peace and security. JWI welcomes your comments and feedback.

Moishe House and Repair the World Partner to Open Service Oriented Houses

Following a national search for outstanding young leaders dedicated to serving those in need, Repair the World and Mo...

Following a national search for outstanding young leaders dedicated to serving those in need, Repair the World and Moishe House will open two Repair the World Moishe Houses to serve as communal residences for young adults in Detroit and Chicago. The houses will act as hubs for volunteer and service activity in each city as their residents engage local young people in addressing pressing social issues and humanitarian needs such as educational inequality, homelessness, poverty, hunger and domestic violence.
 
The collaboration enhances the Moishe House model with an increased service requirement, tapping into Repair the World's expertise in building effective service and Jewish ejp full logoservice-learning programs while also bolstering existing Repair the World service projects.

For each house, two groups of four residents will receive a modest rent subsidy and budget to build service-related programming for other Jews in their twenties, as they work to improve social conditions and then relate this volunteerism to their Jewish heritage, history and values. The residents are expected to move into the homes - which they are currently identifying - in August and begin programming by September 1, 2012.

The opening of Repair the World Moishe House represents a growing partnership between the two organizations who earlier this summer co-sponsored a Jewish service-learning retreat in Maryland focused on training Moishe House residents and community members across the country on methods by which to engage their peers in meaningful, effective service.

Moishe House and Repair the World Partner to Open Service Oriented Houses, August 9, 2012, eJP

Positive Relationship Between Canadian Jewish Social Service Agencies and Summer Camp

Jewish social service agencies in Canada play a role in encouraging the children of their clients to attend Jewish da...

Jewish social service agencies in Canada play a role in encouraging the children of their clients to attend Jewish day and overnight camps. Jewish Child and Family Service of Winnipeg fundraises specifically for the children in their care to be able to attend Jewish summer camps. In 2011 the agency spent nearly $25,000 on camping fees and related expenses for their foster children. Some of those funds are designated for one-to-one workers who help special needs children to have a successful camp experience. The agency also assists clients in paying for camping equipment such as sleeping bags and paddles for children attending Jewish day camps.

With generous funding from UJA Federation and some individual donors, JIAS Toronto sends over 100 Jewish children and youth to summer day camps, many of whom would otherwise not be able to experience this opportunity. In Ontario, Hamilton Jewish Social Services process "camperships" for the local Jewish camp and UJA Federation reimburses the camp to cover the cost of the camperships. In Calgary, Jewish Family Service help children attend Chabad camp with funds from private donors. Most Jewish camp goers in Calgary are subsidized by the Integrated Bursary Program. The community services program at Jewish Family Services of Edmonton has long served the function of assessing applicants for the Camp BB Riback and making recommendations to the camp director as to how much a family is able to pay. In Toronto, 330 children received camp subsidies in 2012 through Jewish Family & Child Service's summer camp program. This number includes 47 one-on-one workers who support children with special needs.

In addition to the obvious long-term benefits of children attending Jewish summer camps, there are short-term benefits such as respite for parents with special needs children and the opportunity to spend time running, swimming, playing and learning in our gorgeous natural environment and getting healthy! The very real prospect of decreased funding for these essential programs looms for all of us. Collectively, perhaps we can put out heads together and come up with some ideas to increase funding for these essential programs. Click here to learn more about Jewish summer camps and adult Jewish engagement.