Supporting Inner Calm & Outer Strength

Supporting Inner Calm & Outer Strength

On my desk, I have a framed playing card my son gave me a few years back. It is from a game called ‘Magic: The Gathering’ that he was playing the time. On top of the card he circled the words ‘Inner Calm, Outer Strength,’ which describe the powers of this particular card.  I felt…

Committed to Climb Together

Committed to Climb Together

Listen to the 2019 Luncheon remarks from Rabbi Will Berkovitz, CEO of Jewish Family Service. Back when I thought I was immortal, I liked to go climbing in the Cascades. Today, I prefer to limit my vertical exposure to air travel, a nice chairlift and maybe watching a climbing movie like “Free-Solo.” People who aren’t…

A Response to New Zealand: We Should Not Accept These Horrid Deeds as “Normal”

A Response to New Zealand: We Should Not Accept These Horrid Deeds as “Normal”

I received a message at 4:00 a.m. this morning. It was from a person we work with in Emergency Services. He called to express sadness and concern after the murders at the mosques in New Zealand. It was a remarkable call for its humanity, compassion and the recognition that a mass murder at a mosque…

Community Is Our Tradition

Community Is Our Tradition

A midrash tells about a group of people in a boat. One begins to drill a hole in the floor under his seat. Incredulous, the group demands to know, “What are you doing?” The one replies, “It’s in my space, why do you care?” The group cries back, “We are all in the same boat…

125 Years: A Milestone of Significance

125 Years: A Milestone of Significance

“As in the rest of America…growth and success did not extend to all in Seattle.” This passage from Carolee Danz’s history of JFS isn’t a contemporary reference. It’s the description of Seattle, circa 1892, the year the women of this Jewish community first organized to collect and distribute aid to the most vulnerable. Those acts…

Placing Our Hearts

Placing Our Hearts

We are living in an era when attention spans are assumed to be 140 characters or less — two bits as my dad would say. That’s how much we are willing to “pay” for our attention. In Hebrew, “pay attention” is literally translated as, “place your heart.” Placing our hearts requires effort. It requires us…

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