Westchester Jewish Center

How is “Interfaith Purim” Different From All Other Purims? It Isn’t.

Posted on February 27th, 2017
From On Being Both


For interfaith families sharing Judaism and Christianity, spring is busy with holidays. From Christianity, we have Mardi Gras, Lent, Easter. From Judaism, we have Purim, Passover and Shavuot. When I tell folks we are celebrating any of these holidays with our independent interfaith community, I often get questions like, “How is interfaith Purim different from regular (Jewish) Purim?”

Continue reading.

For more great Purim ideas, check out our Purim Resource Kit.
 

 

How My Journey To Find God Brought Me To A Synagogue

Posted on February 20th, 2017
Farrah Alexander HuffPost


When I was a child, the Christian church my family attended and where my grandma played the organ felt like home. I loved Sunday school. The youth ministers were like family. I enthusiastically chose to be baptized. I could recite all the books of the bible in order, although now I’m not sure why.

As I got older, my skepticism heightened and my faith lessened. When I attended church, I no longer felt the serenity I once felt after walking in those doors. I felt nothing but a newfound sense of apathy, which made me feel ashamed and profoundly sad. I knew I believed in and had faith in G-d, but I couldn’t find G-d within the walls of the Christian church I called home anymore.

Continue reading.

 

How Jewish Do I Need to Be…If I’m Not Actually Jewish?

Posted on February 13th, 2017
This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily 


By Rabbi Mychal Copeland 


I met Jeremy and Lisa at a coffee shop to plan their upcoming wedding. We had covered most of the usual pre-ceremony topics: communication, values and balancing work and home life. Lisa had a strong Jewish sense of self from her upbringing and was excited that Jeremy, who didn’t follow any particular religious tradition, was more than happy to go along for the ride. Jeremy expressed genuine interest in learning more about Lisa’s traditions.

As we were putting the final touches on the ceremony, he asked an honest and important question: “Do I need to break the glass at our wedding?” Many couples I work with both break a glass or fight over who gets to do it. Performing Jewish rituals with Lisa felt fine to Jeremy, but doing it alone seemed to be making a statement that this tradition was his. The idea of the ritual itself was not the issue, but what it represented.

Continue reading.

As Immigration Crisis Deepens, Jews, Muslims Draw Closer

Posted on February 6th, 2017
BY HANNAH DREYFUS from The New York Jewish Week


Forging deeper ties throughout the city as interest in interfaith group rises.


Rokeya Akhter, 53, a Muslim-American woman living in Queens, came to America from Bangladesh 24 years ago. She decided to leave her home country after her first husband robbed and then abandoned her and her then-infant daughter.

“When a husband leaves, it’s the woman’s fault,” she said. “It is nothing but a struggle in that society.” She quickly grew weary of the constant pity and the guilt and applied for a visa to the United States. She told her family she was leaving the day before her flight. “I moved here to give my daughter a better life,” said Akhter, who today works as an account coordinator for a cosmetics company. “Everything I do, I do for my daughter.”

Continue reading.

 

Thanks, Donald Trump. You Actually Brought Jews and Muslims Together.

Posted on January 30th, 2017
Ilana Schachter for The Forward


At 1:30 p.m. on the day of the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., I huddled with my group of students from the University of Pennsylvania alongside thousands upon thousands of other protesters. Our group tried to find a route around the gridlock, to no avail, when a Muslim freshman realized that the time for afternoon prayer had arrived. Lacking any means to exit the throngs, the student knew that she would need to pray right at the corner of Independence and Third, in the middle of the jam-packed protest.

Continue reading.

 

Pages