a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Archive for November 2012


Posted by: erika on: November 22, 2012

One of those really complicated, really tasty holidays you love to hate. In this year of complicated feelings I’m thankful for so many things. My health, my family, my friends, my loving partner to name a few. I’m also thankful for all of you. Happy Turkey Day! Now, some words from Wednesday Addams: ” Wait, […]

Prayer for the Children of Abraham / Ibrahim

Posted by: erika on: November 21, 2012

From one of my favorite Rabbis, Rabbi Rachel Barenblat aka The Velveteen Rabbi Prayer for the Children of Abraham / Ibrahim For every aspiring ballerina huddled scared in a basement bomb shelter For every toddler in his mother’s arms     behind rubble of concrete and rebar For every child who’s learned to distinguish “our” bombs […]

I’m not a Bad Jew-More Reflections on Israel/Palestine

Posted by: erika on: November 19, 2012

 “No Time for a Rally” by Alana Alpert via JewishBoston.com Even if I believed we had no choice, I would spend this evening reading the news in horror and pain… Even if I believed it was us versus them, I would not rally as if this were a sport… Even if I believed this was […]

Conflicted Feelings About Israel

Posted by: erika on: November 16, 2012

It’s been exactly one year since I traveled to Israel and the mixed bag of emotions I felt then are as real today as when I boarded the AirTran to JFK airport in Queens. Why was I going-wouldn’t a trip prove my loyalty to the Israeli State and therefore acknowledgement of the “illegitimacy” of Palestine? […]

Living Tikkun Olam

Posted by: erika on: November 11, 2012

As Jews do we talk about Tikkun Olam, or do we live it?   My partner went to Far Rockaway today and reports that Red Cross, FEMA and the National Guard were at the various locations we’ve been volunteering with. She also reports that there are lights in the stairwells of some of the buildings. […]

What’s Been Happening in Far Rockaway

Posted by: erika on: November 8, 2012

This video from UpWorthy very clearly shows how people are living in areas of Far Rockaway. This particular building is where my partner worked on Monday. Please share widely. Also read this and this and this. Donate and volunteer here.  

Some Relief to Seniors in Far Rockaway

Posted by: erika on: November 7, 2012

I got the following e-mail today : Hi Erika: A friend of mine forwarded your article to me this morning because I had been out volunteering guerrilla style out in Rockaway this past weekend.  I was at 155 Beach 19th St. a building filled with seniors who are immobile, without running water, heat, power, etc. […]

Day Three in Far Rockaway

Posted by: erika on: November 6, 2012

A cross-post from The Sisterhood. In the Far Rockaways, there is no Red Cross relief, no FEMA, no National Guard shuttling in supplies for the elderly Polish and Russian Jews living in high rises without power or heat. There is no relief for the poor black and Latino families living in low-income housing. The lights […]

Another Day in Far Rockaway

Posted by: erika on: November 4, 2012

Driving through the Rockaways is surreal. When exiting the bridge the first thing you notice is the seagulls hovering over the newly created pile of trash that’s being collected in the parking lot of Riis beach. As you drive down Rockaway Beach Boulevard in the 100s the bay is to your left and the upper […]


Posted by: erika on: November 2, 2012

***UPDATE NOVEMBER 3rd*** Today I volunteered in a community in desperate need of help. There is no FEMA relief, no Red Cross Trucks, no ConEd restoring power, no access to public transportation or access to money or food. I volunteered in a low-income community populated by mostly black and Latino folks who are living in […]

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Candle Lighting Times


November 2012
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