These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

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Questions

Posted on August 9, 2016 by Estella Gabay

Before I got on the plane to Israel, I had many doubts. It wasn’t my first time in Israel, but my purpose was different from my previous visits. I was hesitant this time, overwhelmed. I am from Istanbul. I am Jewish, living in a Muslim community. Am I living a Jewish life? I ask that question to Continue Reading »

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Coming Out: My Mom Isn’t Jewish

Posted on August 7, 2016 by George Altshuler

My father is Jewish, but my mother isn’t. A literal reading of halakha, or Jewish law, would suggest that I’m not Jewish. But my mother and father made a decision before I was born to raise my sister and I as Jews. I had a bris and a bar mitzvah, attended Hebrew School and confirmation classes, Continue Reading »

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We Are All in This Together

Posted on August 7, 2016 by Yuliya Mazur

This blog has been cross-posted from https://noshingacrossthenation.wordpress.com/2016/08/03/we-are-in-it-together-part-ii-yaffa/ Here at Pardes I like all of my teachers. Otherwise I wouldn’t have taken their classes, right? But a person whose class and relationship with I treasure the most, is definitely Yaffa Epstein. Yaffa is the reason I am coming to Pardes for the second year and plan on Continue Reading »

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Rabbi Meir Schweiger – An Inspiration to Families Worldwide and His FSU Adventures

Posted on August 1, 2016 by Miriam BenSander

Imagine my family – a Jewish family, a respected family in FSU Moscow in 1983 … When I was an adolescent my parents decided to return to our Jewish roots and begin to observe traditions again – in a time when that was dangerous. They studied for themselves and tried to teach us, their children – Continue Reading »

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Jerusalem Pride: Reflections

Posted on July 28, 2016 by Rachel Bikofsky

I was marching with friends, caught up in the music and dancing, and awed by the displays of courage and strength that surged around me. Suddenly, police officers started running by us, and we heard sirens as the crowd hurried to get out of the road so an ambulance could drive through. Within seconds, everyone Continue Reading »

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The Signs That Make Me Who I Am

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Dave Benger

I’ve found that every student at Pardes has a unique backstory, and layer upon layer of reasons for what brought them to this place at this time, each story more intriguing than the last. For me, this summer at Pardes could not have come at a better time. This past year brought some radical transformation Continue Reading »

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Coming Out Jewish

Posted on July 13, 2016 by Ma'ayan Dyer

This blog was originally posted on the author’s personal blog, Lost in Jerusalem. In the eternal words of every human being since the beginning of spoken language, life is not fair. It never has been and never will be. Not that we will ever shut up about it. Perhaps I should back-up a bit and Continue Reading »

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Two Yerushalmi Poems

Posted on June 23, 2016 by Sarah Marx

This blogpost was originally published on the author’s personal blog, Ramblin’ Maidel. Inspired by Jerusalem, as always, and its characters, and its millennia of liturgical music. The Electrician’s Psalm Unhemmed Creator, spinner of the world, Today beneath Your power lines a man Crouched down, his battered palms burnished like leather, His skin limp with the Continue Reading »

epa03619944 An Israeli Jewish woman carries a Torah scroll (C) during a prayer session near the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel, 12 March 2013. The prayers, attended by hundreds of women, marked the beginning of the Hebrew month of Nisan.  EPA/ABIR SULTAN

Shouting Down From the Women’s Balcony, a Latter-Day Yentl Discovers That Prayer is Protest

Posted on June 13, 2016 by Andrea Wiese

This article originally appeared on The Sisterhood blog on the Forward. I have always been adamant that my personal prayer was not a protest or a fight for something. Then a recent interaction with a rabbi — me on the women’s balcony, him down below in the men’s section — made me rethink my stance. Continue Reading »

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The Magic of Torah

Posted on June 1, 2016 by Elana Weiner

If I were to be accused of avodah zarah, it would be to name among the mortal world a God of Audre Lorde. Since I first met her words, I have found meaning and comfort in them. One of my favorite quotes of hers aptly describes what I have learned here at Pardes: “Your silence will not protect Continue Reading »

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