July 31, 2020
ROCKLAND STORIES
New clergy face unique challenges
Leading a new congregation in the time of covid

Imagine starting a new job — one that hinges largely on getting to know your colleagues, consumers, and the community — during the covid crisis, when masks hide smiles and in-person gatherings are kept artificially small.

That is precisely the situation facing our new clergy, and they are painfully aware of the challenges they face. But they also are hopeful, and they are determined to face those challenges head on.
Justice Dept: Zoning targets Orthodox Jews in Rockland County
Feds threaten suit unless Airmont resolves complaints by Orthodox residents

Bad news for Airmont: The federal government has it in their sights again.

The Rockland village, situated between Monsey and Mahwah, was served a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York last week. The letter threatened a costly lawsuit under the Federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) for using its zoning powers against Orthodox Jews.
Parashat Va’etchanan — Shabbat Nachamu: Comfort in community

Bereft of tallit and tefillin, I sat on my bedroom floor on Thursday morning, davenning alone this Tisha B’Av, chanting the haunting words of Eicha softly to myself. In the catastrophe captured in Eicha, we lament that the inconceivable came to pass as our Temple was destroyed. Our center was gone, and with it, our sense of safety. How deeply the losses of Tisha B’Av resonated in this year of the covid-19 pandemic, economic upheaval, protests for racial justice, political strife, and rising anti-Semitism. Sitting alone on my bedroom floor felt right. “For these things do I weep, my eyes flow with tears: far from me is any comforter who might revive my spirit.” (Eicha 1:16)
Rockland museum offers anti-racism book suggestions

Phyllis Frank, anti-racist organizer, community leader, senior director at VCS, Inc., and a friend of Rockland’s Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education, shared reading recommendations for the anti-racist movement.

VCS Inc., formally known as the Volunteer Counseling Service of Rockland County Inc., provides counseling services and mental health treatment with an anti-racist, social justice mission.
Reflections on my kippah drawer

Most of us have had more time on our hands lately.

If the weather were better I would finally clean out my garage, but it’s been difficult to string together two good days of weather, so I have focused on other long-neglected areas of my home. One such area, the second drawer of my night table, provided an opportunity for celebration and reflection.
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AUG 11, 7PM
Join us on a virtual tour of Machane Yehuda and the Kotel
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