Jewish Interfaith Wedding Officiants

Posted by & filed under Jewish Weddings, Rabbi Barbara Aiello.

Jewish Interfaith Wedding

“A Minister a Priest and a Rabbi” The How To’s of a Co-officiated Jewish Interfaith Wedding   Over a hearty espresso in a coffee bar in southern Italy, Reverend Jens Hansen and I put the finishing touches on the wedding ceremony that we would perform together.  Sarah, a Jewish young woman from the United States… Read more »

Pittsburgh Massacre Thoughts

Posted by & filed under Jewish Family Life, Holocaust, Rabbi Barbara Aiello, Blog.

Pittsburgh Massacre

A Pittsburgh-born Rabbi’s Thoughts on the Pittsburgh Massacre It started with pennies. At first my dear friend’s teenage daughter didn’t take it seriously.. After all, the boy who was throwing pennies at her couldn’t even get the insult right. “He’s calling me a KITE,” she said. “That’s how stupid he is. He doesn’t even know… Read more »

Hebrew Month Elul: Facts, Tips and Actions

Posted by & filed under Jewish Holidays, Blog.

The Month of Preparation On the secular calendar it’s nearly the end of August while on the Hebrew calendar a new month has begun. It’s the Hebrew month Elul, the only month that does not feature a holiday, a feast day, a fast day or a memorial. And that’s no coincidence. Our sages understood that… Read more »

Back to School in Italy

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It’s back to school in Bella Italia with school bells ringing (literally) in Serrastretta, my tiny village in the mountains of Calabria. Children in many of our mountain communities will attend classes from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm, six days a week, Saturdays included!  Although students are permitted one hour for “pranzo,” (lunch), that still amounts to… Read more »

Tisha B’Av Story

Posted by & filed under Jewish Holidays, Rabbi Barbara Aiello.

Tisha B’Av Story

When B’nei Anusim Are Told That the Real Jews Are the Dead Ones   Emma D. (not her real name) is a Bat Anusim – a Hebrew term which translates as “the daughter of the forced ones.” Her Italian Jewish roots, tangled as they are, also run deep.  Emma traces her ancestry back nearly 500… Read more »

Tiny Travelling Torah

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Travelling Torah

Bat Mitzvah of Chloe A. Montego Bay, Jamaica June 9, 2010 The Travelling Torah from which Chloe read (pictured here in Chloe’s arms) was inscribed in south central Europe, possibly in Slovenia or Romania in the years prior to 1880. We know this because after 1880, Rabbis defined the exact dimensions of a scroll and… Read more »

Lag B Omer Interfaith Understanding

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Lag B Omer Interfaith Understanding

Lag B Omer Interfaith Understanding The festival of Pesach is behind us. We’ve wiped the wine stains from the Haggadot booklets or, if we used special dishes, they are now put away. Finally the bread and cookies are back in the pantry and with a smile  of satisfaction and relief, the most popular of all… Read more »

Shavuot

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Shavuot

Shavuot in the New Millennium or “Who Wrote the Book of Love?”   As we celebrate Shavuot this year, take time to Read the Book of Ruth. It is the traditional reading for this festival. The Book of Ruth takes us back to the beauty and mystery of love. Love that begins in a way… Read more »

Soul Searching for Rachela

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Rabbi Barbara welcomes guest blogger, Marcia Colagiovanni. Marcia and Rabbi met via the Italian Jewish Cultural Center of Calabria (IjCCC) when Rabbi helped Marcia discover the Jewish roots of her family’s Italian surnames. Marcia describes her remarkable Jewish journey which includes a deeply spiritual experience at the Hayim Mayim Mikveh in Boston, USA.​ You can… Read more »