First Person

My Conversion: My Birthday Present to Myself

Kay Lorraine

Image of a mikveNovember 24th was my birthday, but it was also the anniversary of my conversion to Judaism. Fifty-two years ago, on my 21st birthday, I went to the mikveh as my birthday present to myself. … Continue reading

Toledo: The Tale of Two Synagogues

By Kay Lorraine

After the expulsion of the Jews at the end of the 15th century, eight of Toledo’s ten synagogues and its five Talmudic schools were destroyed. The two remaining synagogues in Toledo are no longer used for… Continue reading

The Last Jews in Grenada

by Kay Lorraine

In August and September of this year, my husband and I rented a car and traveled throughout Spain, soaking up the culture (and some fine food). I knew, of course, about the Spanish Inquisition but I was… Continue reading

Sof in the Community

Mat Sgan Addresses Jewish Community Services Dinner on Behalf of Sof Maʻarav

A dreidel on a table showing the letter heh

On Sunday, November 17, Jewish Community Services of Hawaiʻi held their 21st Anniversary Dinner. Jews representing every Synagogue on Oʻahu were there. Mat Sgan, the author… Continue reading

High Holy Days Thoughts

By Sandra Z. Armstrong

Sukkah decorations - two booths with fronds.

Chag Sameach,

We had an outstanding evening with 40+ attendees for the Sukkah Party. We celebrated Bella’s 8th birthday with cupcakes! The rain has come in this morning, but the entire week of Sukkot has been… Continue reading

Holy Days & Sukkot Edition

Drash for Rosh Hashanah 5780 By Alex Golub

Photos by Arnie Warshawsky

A table with two loaves of challah on a partially covered board, next to a covered Torah scroll.

Rosh Hashanah is the holiday of new beginnings, and nothing says ‘new beginnings’ like children. This year – which means every year – we have three of them.… Continue reading

Keeping a Promise and Tomorrow’s God: The Hebrew Lord in an Age of Science

By Judith Goldman

The Robert Goldman family – Bob z’l, Judy, 3 year-old Lita and 6-month-old Erica, came to Honolulu in 1972, to see if we’d like living here. Hawaii has much to offer a young family, but for us,… Continue reading

A Snowbird’s Rosh HaShanah or Norman Rockwell Made it Look Easy

by Les Rosenthal

Image by Ajale from Pixabay

If we lived in Eutopia, preparing for the High Holidays with my wife, Pat, and our adult children, Katie and Kerri, when both adult daughters live within driving distance would be easy and enjoyable. Not so much… Continue reading

High Holy Days Challah

By Peter Fritz

All year long our challah is braided, but it is round for Rosh Hashanah. What does the challah’s shape teach us about this special time of year?

There are many explanations. Round challahs have no end, symbolizing… Continue reading

Forbidden Fruit, Rosh Hashanah, and Our Environment

By Rabbi Natan Margalit

Image of Pomegranite and two apples.

According to Hasidic traditions, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, from the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, worked in a deeper way than we usually think about it. It’s… Continue reading

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