These and Those

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

Archive: March 2014

Learning from the Teens at Crossroads Jerusalem

Posted on March 27, 2014 by Sydni Adler

A few weeks ago, Meira was listening to a riddle, when the teenager sitting next to her said, “This makes my head hurt. See, this is why I don’t think about God.” Every Tuesday night, Meira spends her time volunteering with an insightful, passionate group of teenagers at Crossroads, a non-profit organization that helps English-speaking Continue Reading »

Creating Community with the Domari Gypsy Society

Posted on January 18, 2014 by Sydni Adler

Every Thursday afternoon, Misha volunteers for the Domari Gypsy Society, a non-profit organization that operates out of the Shu’fat neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Domari Gypsies have been living in the Middle East for centuries, and the Jerusalem Domari Gypsy community has been present for over a hundred years. Although Domari Gypsies speak Arabic and practice Continue Reading »

My Greatest Mentor, Age Seven

Posted on December 11, 2013 by Sydni Adler

I start every personal statement with some variation on the same story: One afternoon in high school, I came home to find my two-year-old brother running around the house, screaming the Shema. Earlier that day, Jacob had learned the prayer in preschool, and now he was yelling it, laughing it, dancing it, while running circles Continue Reading »

KEEPing Israeli Kids on Track to Succeed

Posted on November 18, 2013 by Sydni Adler

In Israel, universities and many jobs require their applicants to be fluent in English. Unfortunately, many low-income children struggle with English acquisition as a result of lack of personal attention in school and family life. Every year, several Pardes students volunteer with KEEP (Kol HaNeshama’s English Enrichment Program), a program to help 4th-6th graders from Continue Reading »

Our Prophecy at Pardes

Posted on May 26, 2013 by Sydni Adler

My dvar Torah from the Galil Shabbaton: On Shavuot, Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan spoke about the prophetic power of G-d’s ruach – G-d’s spirit, breath, or wind. Throughout Tanakh, whenever ruach appears, G-d pervades material being, and often, individual human beings. In both the Torah and Haftarah portions of Be’haalotecha, we deal directly with ruach Continue Reading »

Animal Justice as Social Justice – Reflections on the JSPCA

Posted on May 19, 2013 by Sydni Adler

All pictures are taken from JSPCA’s website. For the past nine months that I have been in Jerusalem, I have spent the majority of my Fridays volunteering at the Jerusalem Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA). The JSCPA is the largest animal shelter in Jerusalem, holding up to 200 dogs and 150 Continue Reading »

The Sukkah as Temporary Temple

Posted on October 5, 2012 by Sydni Adler

During Sukkot, we celebrate God’s hand in the successes of our past years’ produce and of all the work of our hands (Deut 16:15). Before the destruction of the Temple, Sukkot was much more of a raucous, noisy, purely joyful celebration than it is today. However, today, without the Temple and without sacrifice, what remains Continue Reading »

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