"Who’s that good looking guitar player?"

Having done a lot of these “Heart to Heart” Shabbat dinners (over 40!), there are many things I’ve learned – some of which I came across by accident but which have proven to be very helpful. Here I’ll share one such practice: One of the best things about the meals is that there’s no set […]

Longing for the Beit Hamikdash

Two year ago from this Shabbat, I helped Drexel AEPi run a Bar Mitzvah. I’ll have to tell that story another time, it’s too good – and long. But in preparing for it, I was helping some of the brothers learn to read Hebrew and lain. I was teaching them one of the pesukim in […]

Pesach@Penn 2010 – part 1

Pesach. Ahh, where to start…   After last year’s grand successes, we figured we’d do it again but on a larger scale, maybe even try some advertising. First we got a website, and then came the video 🙂 (huge thanks to Kiderboy, Jordan, Treiger, and everyone else who made it happen) We even made it […]

"What Hurts the Most, Is Being So Close"

When Barack Obama was running for President, one of the things America found most mesmerizing and admirable in his campaign was how the youth got involved and how they really cared. They went out, near and far, knocking on Americans’ doors, speaking to pedestrians, inviting them neighbors to rallies, asking them to sign up to […]

The Sacrifices of Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the Super Bowl Sunday of Jewish Holidays – even people who aren’t regulars or aren’t affiliated in any way come to services on Yom Kippur. Which is probably the worst idea – their one exposure to Judaism is a day of fasting, boring prayer, no sexual activity, and more boring prayer. No […]

Hello! My Name is Shabbat

I want to tell you about something we recently did at Penn – and which you can all do as well. Every fall, Penn has an activities fair, at which around 300 groups set up booths on Locust Walk (the main college thoroughfare) and thousands of people walk by, looking for things in which to […]

End of the Summer; Beginning of a New Year

I want to add a comment to this post – remember they guy from the end of the story? Who said it was his best Shabbat ever and started learning and loving zemirot? So the day after I posted the story, when walking home from work (I happened to go a different way that day) […]

Pesach – "Let My People Stay" et al.

(parts I, II, III) I just want to sum up some final thoughts on the whole Pesach experience. First I’ll post a survey Hillel put out to ~120 students who came to Hillel for Seders. Most of those polled do not regularly eat at Hillel, and over 80% did not go to other activities (services, […]

Pesach, take 2 – "L’harot Et Atzmo Ke’ili Hu Yatza Mimitzrayim"

After the overwhelming success of the first Seder, how could things get any better? Wait ’til you hear this story… So the second Seder – we planned it a little different based on the number of people expected to attend, which was much smaller than the previous night’s hundreds. Furthermore, for the 14 of us, […]