by Rabbi Allie Fischman, Camp Director

On the walls of many synagogues, on the faces of many arks, and adorning many pieces of Jewish artwork we read, “Tzedek, tzedek, tirdof…Justice, justice, you shall pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20). This verse of Torah, not from this week’s portion but always relevant to our lives as Reform Jews, describes the way judges are assigned and how they should preside over the court with impartiality and fairness. Rashi comments that we must “seek out a good court,” and that “the appointment of proper judges is sufficient to make Israel thrive.”

Artwork by @buildthebenchnyc ;

This Shabbat, we celebrate the confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, our first Black female Justice. We know that our political climate has been anything but easy these last many years, and because of this, it feels even more important to keep balance in our highest court of judges.

And yet, I’m reminded right now of the ritual of breaking a glass at a wedding…as we celebrate one triumph, we also recognize the brokenness of the world around us.

Shlichim at Kibbutz Shefayim with Rachel Dubowe and Eli Burg participating in the JAFI camp orientation!

The war in Ukraine continues as millions of people are displaced and untold lives lost. Another terrorist attack in Israel, one of several in a span of weeks, claims more innocent lives while just 12 miles north of Tel Aviv, hundreds of camp professionals and young shlichim are celebrating Shabbat and preparing for a summer spent at North American Jewish summer camps, including 16 amazing shlichim joining us at Camp Newman. We rejoice and feel hope just as our hearts ache for those without homes, without loved ones, without clarity of their lives even as far as tomorrow.

This Shabbat, we hold on to both the triumph and heartache together. We rejoice in a new barrier broken and we pray for peace and comfort for the millions of people living through fear and uncertainty. From our team to your family, we wish you a Shabbat of rest and reflection.

Resources for Supporting the People of Ukraine

Ukraine Assistance Loans:
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