As Israel turns 75 this spring, we thought it would be meaningful to spend some time in this issue of Voices looking at what Israel has meant to us as a congregation, and as individuals. In that spirit, we asked Rabbi Arnowitz for his thoughts, as well as a number of congregants who have strong ties to the country. Alan Queen shares memories of his father, Lenny, and his connection to Israel, and Corey Feldman, Stephen Kutno and Abbe Kellner-Kutno, Robin and Veronica Nazarnadeh, and Neil Wexler all share meaningful stories. And we are pleased to be able to share a set of fun photos from WJC’s recent Israel trip this winter.
We also have a moving, emotional piece about our very own Hanne Brenner Holsten, founding director of WJC’s Nursery School, as she shares her experience as a survivor of Kristallnacht.
The other big event on the calendar this season is, of course, Passover, and we are thrilled to share an interview with cookbook author Benedetta Jasmine Guetta about the cuisine of the Italian Jews, and how you might be able to add some of it to your Passover table. Micah Blachman shares thoughts on the practice of bedikat chametz, with reflections from Janet and Alan Arnowitz, Debbie Katz, Jennifer Hirschhorn, Michael Weintraub, and Susan Brecher. And Myra Levine-Harris and Gail Koller bring us their gefilte fish memories.
As we look forward to our Scholar-in-Residence weekend, Rabbi Dalton spoke with Rabbi Ethan Tucker of Hadar about his career and egalitarianism in the practice of Judaism, for a conversation you’ll want to check out. And Sol Israel writes about the WJC cemetery and his personal motivation to become involved.
As if that’s not enough for one issue—we also have profiles of our WJC Spring Gala honorees, and, for the first time—a crossword! Passover-themed, and a lot of fun to create, we really hope you enjoy it.
May your Seders be lively and delicious—happy Passover!