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Embracing the Message of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday unaffiliated with any specific religious faith. President George Washington issued the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation setting November 26, 1789 as Thanksgiving and a national holiday. However it wasn’t until 1863 during the administration of President Lincoln, following a 17 year campaign by Ms. Sara Hale to create Thanksgiving as a national holiday when workers …

A Student Take: Gabriel Z. on Parashat Vayetzei

This week, Fischer High School senior Gabriel Z. offers a d’var torah on parashat vayetzei. “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac: the ground on which you are lying I will assign to you and to your offspring. Your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread out …

Alumni Update: Class of 2014

A great picture of Class of 2014’s Danielle and Alyson Dennis with Jason Mark. All three of them are in gap year programs in Jerusalem. The Dennis sisters are at Midreshet HaRova, in the Old City of Jerusalem. Jason Mark is at the Shalom Hartman Institute Hevruta Gap year program.


The Reaction to Yitzchak and Our Tragic Loss This Week

In this week’s Torah portion, Toldot, we come across a somewhat puzzling account in the life of our patriarch, Yitzchak. The event involves a number of episodes precipitated by a famine that strikes the land of Canaan where Yitzchak lived. Hashem tells Yitzchak not to leave the land entirely as did his father, Avraham. Rather he is told to dwell …

A Student Take: Jake D. on Parashat Toldot

This week, Fischer High School senior Jake D. offers a d’var torah on parashat toldot. Parashat Toldot begins with Rebecca and Isaac praying to G-D for a child. Rebecca conceives, and near the end of her pregnancy soon feels  strong movement inside her womb.  When the kicking feels like fighting, she cries to G-d for help. He says, “Two nations …