Ritual Life

A student uses the online library Sefaria to read Torah.

Torah and TikTok: Not Your Dad’s Bar Mitzvah

While their parents may have relied on tape recorders and CDs for their own b’nei mitzvah preparations, students today learning to chant Torah can...
Zalmy Sputz, son of Rabbi Hirshi Sputz and Shevy Sputz, just as his upsherin begins

Adventures in Lesser-Known Milestones: The Upsherin

If you’re keeping score on your Jewish milestone celebrations bingo card at home, there are a few squares you’ve probably filled a few times...
Jewish graves

Jewish Death and Mourning Rituals in Philly Adjust to Epidemic

On March 18, Lisa Leff went to a shiva. She didn’t bring food, and she didn’t pin a kriyah ribbon to her clothing. She...
Drexel student picks up his Shabbat to-go package from Chabad house.

Jewish Ritual Life in Philly Adapts to Coronavirus

In crisis, one natural question is, “Where is God?” When, as with the present global pandemic, public gatherings are off-limits, we’re ordered to stay at...
Symbols of Judaism

How Coronavirus has Impacted Jewish Ritual Practices

As the coronavirus spreads, communities are grappling with how best to approach daily living without a known vaccine. And that includes Jewish communities. Synagogues in all...
daf yomi class

Locals Begin New Seven-Year Daf Yomi Cycle

Everywhere Dovid Flam looked in MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, he saw Jews celebrating Torah learning. More than 90,000 people came to the stadium Jan. 1...
Vicki Rubenstein, Debbie Mendelson, Marcie Cohn and Debra Cohen

A Second Chance to Make a First Bat Mitzvah

The phrase adult bar or bat mitzvah, if not an apparent contradiction in terms, reads with some incongruity. Why would you need a bar...
Rabbi Rayzel Raphael performing a wedding

Independent Clergy Find Place in Community

It’s fairly typical for a rabbi to seek out a congregation to call home. But for some, a pulpit rabbinate isn’t for them. Greater Philadelphia...
Brandon Bowman and friends at the Western Wall

Why Hebrew School Students Choose Confirmation

Mia Schwartzberg grew up looking up at a photo of her father on a wall at Main Line Reform Temple. That wall was filled with...
Cantor Lynn Torgove leads vocal warmups with Kol Arev

The Cantorate’s Future Is Bright at Hebrew College

NEWTON CENTRE, MASSACHUSETTS — On a bright Monday morning, about 10 miles west of Boston, a group — mostly rabbis and cantors in training...