Off the Beaten Path

Off the Beaten Path

My work for In the Gardens reaches out to many communities – schools, townships, businesses, nonprofits, and also to congregations, straddling needs in both the secular and spiritual community. As such, I was invited to join Kenissa, an organization that celebrates and creates connections for Jewish innovators. This past March I participated in its Communities of Meaning Network 2018 National Consultation Cohort. The Kenissa Network...

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It’s Spring at In the Gardens!

It’s Spring at In the Gardens!

Spring is springing! I don’t know about you, but I thought it would never arrive. We’ve been seeing parsley now for awhile, even pushing through the snow, but today its delicate frills have been joined by greening-up sage leaves, red-veined sorrel, onion spears, lots of green and red shoots on our rose bushes, oregano, and perhaps the most glorious just now: our apricot tree full of just-opening flowers. It’s a joy to see, touch, smell and...

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Light in the Dark

Light in the Dark

This time of the year we see lights everywhere we turn. It is ironic – or maybe practical – that during the shortest days of the year, we look to bring in light in every corner we can. We light the lights of Hanukkah. We see lights adorning homes, businesses and trees in celebration of Christmas. We receive the lights of Kwanza. The winter solstice is the start of the solar year, and as such, a celebration of the light of the sun. So perhaps...

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Extending our Thanks: #GivingTuesday

Extending our Thanks: #GivingTuesday

Next week we will celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday that brings people together to reflect on and express their gratitude for the good in their lives. Yesterday I was talking with a gentleman in the grocery store. I don’t know him by name, but he has helped me over the months and years, and when he saw me he went out of his way to say hello. “I’m now on the night shift,” he said, “and I don’t see customers as much anymore.” When I asked him how...

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#HoustonStrong

#HoustonStrong

I am honored to have participated in a trip to Houston last week for disaster relief after Hurricane Harvey. It was coordinated by an organization called Nechama, and promoted in Chicago through the Jewish United Fund. When I saw the email invitation, I quickly checked my calendar and said, “Yes!” I submitted an application and was invited to take part. Nineteen people – sixteen volunteers and three JUF staff members – traveled to Texas to see...

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