“On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” (Leviticus 12:3) Parashat Tazria describes the practices a woman who has given birth must follow. She may not touch anything sacred nor enter the mikdash, or sanctuary (Lev. 12:4). When she completes the waiting period (forty days for a baby boy and eighty […]


Parashat Sh’mini (Leviticus 9:1-11:47)

“Fire came forth from before God and consumed the burnt offering and the fat parts on the altar. And all the people saw, and shouted, and fell upon their faces.” (Leviticus 9:24) Seven is a big number in the Torah. The seventh day is Shabbat. The seventh month is Tishrei, when we celebrate Rosh Hashana […]

Parashat Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)

“This is the law of the guilt offering; it is most holy.” (Leviticus 7:1) Parashat Tzav describes how to offer the sacrifices listed in last week’s parasha (portion) and concludes with Aaron’s and his sons’ ordination as kohanim, or priests. This is one of the reasons the book of Leviticus is considered Torat Kohanim, or […]

Parashat Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:26)

“The priest shall provide him atonement before Adonai, and it shall be forgiven him for any of the things he might do to incur guilt.” (Leviticus 5:26) Parashat Vayikra opens the third book of the Torah (also called Vayikra). It gives detailed instructions on how to offer the various sacrifices in the mishkan, or Tabernacle. […]

Parashat Vayakhel-P’kudei (Exodus 35:1-40:38)

“The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of Adonai filled the Tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:34) Parashat P’kudei completes the description of the construction and assembly of the mishkan, or Tabernacle, the primary focus of the last five parashot, or portions. It also is the last parasha in Exodus. P’kudei’s last words are, “For […]

A View from Jerusalem – March 2016


Today is the first of the Hebrew month of Adar, the month associated more than any other with joy and happiness. And in two weeks, our joy increases when we celebrate Purim, which presents our Jewish story in a nutshell: In the year 482 B.C.E., the Jews of the Persian Empire faced death, decreed by King Achashverosh, for not assimilating. “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the other people in all the provinces of your realm, whose laws are different from those of any other people and who do not obey the king’s laws and it is not in your majesty’s interest to tolerate them.” (Megillat Esther 3:9). The plot, instigated by Haman, the king’s evil vizier, urged the people to initiate a bloodbath and to loot and kill the Jews on the 15th day of the month of Adar.

Dylan and Sheva A-Z


Sounding Board is ever so proud to be part of the team that recently announced the launch of the Sheva Center for Innovation in Early Childhood Jewish Education. This is an exciting moment for us. We are blessed with the opportunity to impact thousands of JCC early childhood professionals in 141 JCC early childhood programs, including the […]

ASAP campaign takes off to reprint JWB siddur


For someone serving in the military or recovering at a VA hospital, it can be difficult to stay connected to Judaism. While many bases and hospitals have chaplains, JWB Jewish Chaplains Council saw the need for service men and women to have access to a prayer book, or siddur, that could go with them wherever […]

Growing a global, 21st century concept of tikkun olam


Caryl M. Stern I’m very excited about speaking at the JCC biennial convention this coming May.  As the U.S. and Canadian JCC Movement celebrates 100 years of helping others—and as JCC leaders “network, share and schmooze” for four days in Baltimore—you will also help shape the future of our communities, particularly for children, both locally […]

The Chinese food heard ‘round the world


Posted by Savannah Jewish Educational Alliance on Monday, February 8, 2016 In early February, the JCC of Greater Baltimore shared a humorous graphic about the Chinese New Year on the marketing listserv that JCC Association hosts. Created by Emily Karsh, the JCC’s graphic designer, the image hit the funny bone with a play on Jews and their […]

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