Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Nina Badzin


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  • This Rosh Hashanah, I challenge you to focus on the positives

    Nina Badzin|Sep 23, 2016

    (Kveller via JTA)—Two essential parts of preparing for Rosh Hashanah, our clean slate for the year, is asking forgiveness from anyone we wronged and making a list (mental or written) of the ways we fell short since the last time we heard the shofar. Ideally that hard work of going to friends, family and anyone else deserving of our forgiveness happens in the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah. By the time Yom Kippur rolls around 10 days later, we should be ready to confess our mistakes as a community, having already considered our personal p... Full story

  • Waiting for an apology that will never come

    Nina Badzin|Sep 18, 2015

    (Kveller via JTA)—I used to have the right idea for Yom Kippur. I liked the notion of an entire month to clean up my messes from the past year, and I worked hard to deliver carefully worded apologies. The promise of a clean slate appealed to my resolution-making personality. And I appreciated the fact that the obligation to make life improvements deeper than, say, eating better, differentiated the Jewish New Year from the secular one. I was a High Holidays superfan. This year, however, I’ve found it difficult to focus solely on my faults, my... Full story

  • Are voluntary dues enough to get people to join synagogues?

    Nina Badzin|Feb 20, 2015

    MINNEAPOLIS (JTA)—Michael Paulson reported in The New York Times on the “Pay What You Want” model that some synagogues are implementing to reduce the financial barrier to membership. Paulson estimated that about 30 synagogues across the United States are trying voluntary dues. These changes, Paulson wrote Monday, have come from “an acknowledgement that many Jewish communal organizations are suffering the effects of growing secularization, declining affection for institutions, a dispersal of Jewish philanthropy and an end to the era in which m... Full story

  • How to do 8 nights of Chanukah without creating spoiled brats

    Nina Badzin, Kveller.com|Dec 12, 2014

    MINNEAPOLIS (Kveller.com)—The Chanukah I see in children’s books demonstrates families playing dreidel and eating latkes while the menorah shines brilliantly in the window. Then there’s the inevitable illustration of the kids’ utter elation when the parents unveil a bag of gelt night after night. The scene sounds delightful, but I can’t imagine it’s realistic in all Jewish homes. Let’s be honest: Starting in October, lots of Jewish kids obsess over the “holiday” (aka Christmas) catalogs that arrive daily in mailboxes across the country. Right o... Full story

  • Lose the chip on your shoulder during Christmas season

    Nina Badzin, Kveller.com|Dec 12, 2014

    MINNEAPOLIS (Kveller.com)—We Jews have two choices in our approach to the Christmas season: resent it or embrace it. I for one vote for a big, sloppy embrace. In the name of love thy neighbor and tolerance, I say we hug it out with Christmas already and teach our kids to do the same. Why? We expect our non-Jewish co-workers, friends and neighbors to show heaps of interest and concern in all things Jewish. During the High Holidays we ask our kids’ teachers not to assign big tests after those long days at shul. We offer unsolicited exp... Full story

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