Thursday, February 21, 2013

Shabbat Across America Unites, Inspires

Baltimore Jewish Times - Local News | Shabbat Across America Unites, Inspires:

What if you could enjoy a meaningful evening with your brothers and sisters, putting the challenges and chaos of the week aside, with a delicious meal, spirited singing and good conversation? And what if that evening was free of charge?
That is exactly what can happen on Friday evening, March 1, at this year’s Shabbat Across America. The night starts with candle lighting at 5:20 at Suburban Orthodox Congregation Toras Chaim.

'via Blog this'

Monday, February 18, 2013

Italian b’nei anousim celebrate Shabbat with a unique candelabra

For thousands of Italians who live in the southern Italian region of Calabria, the island of Sicily and the Aeolian Islands, connecting family traditions with an ancient Jewish heritage can be little more than a lucky guess. But as B’nei Anousim (those who were forced into Christian conversion during Inquisition times) continue to search for their lost and hidden Jewish roots, one ritual item, the Shabbat candelabra offers an important clue.

For years I believed that the triple candelabra that was one of our family heirlooms was little more than a lovely artifact. Later on as I began a search of our family’s anousim roots, I discovered that this three-branched candelabra was a special part of the family Shabbat table.

- by Rabbi Barbara Aiello: the first woman and first non-orthodox rabbi in Italy. She opened the first active synagogue in Calabria since Inquisition times and is the founder of the B'nei Anousim movement in Calabria and Sicily that helps Italians discover and embrace their Jewish roots.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Candle of My Own - By Joannie (Henya) Tansky

“Shhh, my children. Make sure the blinds are closed tightly. Come to the table, light the candles.” That is how many Jewish children grew up in communist Russia in the 1960s and ’70s. No explanations about their heritage—not about ChanukahPurim,Passover, or even Shabbat. If they knew nothing, they could not repeat anything that would put their families in peril…