Sign In Forgot Password

The Omer, Lag BaOmer, and the multivocality of Jewish Experience

04/30/2024 07:44:29 AM


Lara Giordano

Originally published in the May 2023 Newsletter.


You'll have to forgive the use of a term from my years in and as a continental philosopher, but in reading this fascinating article by Rabbi Shimon Felix, I couldn't help but think of the omer - and Jewish tradition more broadly - in terms of the palimpsest. The palimpsest is a manuscript on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing...Read more...

Serifat Omer ("Counting the Omer")

04/30/2024 07:38:44 AM


Lara Giordano

Originally published in the May 2023 Newsletter

What is the omer?
The practice of Sefirat Ha'Omer ("counting the omer") comes from Emor, this week's parsha. The Torah reads:

“You shall count from the eve of the second day of Pesach, when an omer of grain is to be brought as an offering, seven complete weeks. The day after the seventh week of your counting will make fifty days, and you...Read more...

How do we celebrate Passover in a year such as this?

04/20/2024 08:55:16 AM


Lara L. Giordano

Passover remains my favorite holiday, one that I look forward to with absolute delight and child-like anticipation. Perhaps because it is a holiday designed expressly for children and, when it comes to Judaism, I am still a child. Or perhaps (and not unrelatedly), it is because – in a religion defined by its devotion to dialectical education – Passover stands out  among the holidays for its educative impulse. I was once a...Read more...

Brief Guide to the Days of Passover

04/20/2024 06:58:08 AM


Days of Preparation:

Clean house. Get rid of all chametz. Chametz means "leavened bread" and refers to food prepared from five species of grain–wheat, barley, oats, spelt, and rye–that have been allowed to leaven. Still have chametz that you need to get rid of? Either take it to a food pantry or lock it up tight in a cabinet and then "sell it" through Mishkan Chicago using this form. After Passover ends,...Read more...

Parashat Vayikra 5784 / פָּרָשַׁת וַיִּקְרָא

03/19/2024 08:37:48 AM


LL Giordano

✷ to be read on March 23⎮13 Adar II ✷

In this first Torah portion of the book of Leviticus, God instructs Moses on the five different kinds of sacrifices to be offered in the Mishkan:

The olah or "burnt offering," a voluntary sacrifice that has a high degree of sanctity and is regarded as the "standard"...Read more...

Parashat Ki Tisa 5784 / פָּרָשַׁת כִּי תִשָּׂא

02/27/2024 01:25:38 PM


LL Giordano

✷ to be read on March 2⎮22 Adar ✷

Parashat Ki Tisa ("When you Elevate") opens as G-d tells Moshe to collect a half-shekel donation from all Israelites and to anoint the Mishkan, its vessels, and the priests. As Rabbi Scott Perlo has...Read more...

Parashat Terumah 5784

02/15/2024 10:03:41 AM


✷ to be read on February 17⎮8 Adar ✷ It's rainbow unicorn time again!

Terumah (understood as "gift," "offering," or "sacrifice") is this week's parsha and, in it, Moses receives God's commandments on stone tablets as well as instructions for the building of the Mishkan, i.e., the portable...Read more...

What do Quentin Tarantino & Rabbi Akiva have in common? ~ humor, proportionality, and the absurd

01/10/2024 11:37:54 AM


Parashat Vaera 5784 / פָּרָשַׁת וָאֵרָא

✷ to be read on January 13⎮3 Shevat ✷

In Vaera (“I Appeared”), God promises that he will redeem the enslaved Israelites and guide them to the Promised Land. At...Read more...

Get to know Shulcloud this January!

01/09/2024 02:46:22 PM


Resolve to get to know ShulCloud
We invite you to take some time this January to get to know ShulCloud, the LJCC’s digital home. ShulCloud is a cloud-based software designed specifically for synagogues. ShulCloud helps the LJCC and its members do all sorts of things - like keep track of ritual timing and yahrzeits; learn about and register for events; make payments and connect with other members.

You likely already...

Parashat Shemot 5784

01/03/2024 12:46:53 PM


LL Giordano

Parashat Shemot 5784 / פָּרָשַׁת שְׁמוֹת to be read on January 6⎮25 Tevet

In the beginning of the book of Exodus, a new Pharaoh rules Egypt. Out of fear of the strength of the Israelites,...Read more...

From the desk of the Religious School Director

11/30/2023 09:06:55 AM


Rachel Downs-Doubrava


Dear Families, Students, and Community Members,

I can proudly say that within the last two years, the LJCC Religious School has become more robust, strategic, and purposeful. While we still organize our approach and activities according to the four pillars of Torah, values, ritual, and tradition, we have grown from a single primary school track to include preschoolers and teens. We have engaged specialty...Read more...

Celebrating Hanukkah:A historical & how-to guide

11/30/2023 08:28:20 AM


Lara Giordano


What is Hanukkah?

Hannukah, also known as the "Festival of Lights," is a commemorative holiday marking the victory of the Maccabees over the forces of the Seleucid King Antiochus and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem on Kislev 25, 164 BCE. According to...Read more...

Year-End Giving

11/27/2023 12:46:37 PM


Lara Giordano

Your year-end tax-deductible gift enables the LJCC to continue our engaging programming; to keep our members safe and connected; and to fulfill our mission of providing a pluralistic, egalitarian, and inclusive space for the Jewish people of Lawrence to worship, socialize, and learn. 

You can support the LJCC while maximizing the tax-implications of your gift by using your IRA or by initiating gifts of stock or other securities....Read more...

Parashat Chayei Sara 5784November 11⎮27 Cheshvan

11/10/2023 09:01:08 AM


LL Giordano

In Chayei Sarah (“The Life of Sarah”), Sarah dies at the age of 127. Searching for an appropriate place for her burial, Abraham purchases the Cave of Machpelah. There she is laid to rest. Abraham searches as well for a wife for Isaac, his son. He sends a servant. Eliezer, to fulfill this task. The servant encounters Rebecca at a well and Rebecca gives water to the servant and his camels. Eliezer returns with Rebecca and she and...Read more...

reflections during the days of awe

09/19/2023 04:10:23 PM


Lara Giordano

"Where do we find ourselves? In a series of which we do not know the extremes, and believe that it has none. We wake and find ourselves on a stair; there are stairs below us, which we seem to have ascended; there are stairs above us, many a one, which go upward and out of sight. But the Genius which, according to the old belief, stands at the door by which we enter, and gives us the lethe to drink that we may tell no tales, mixed the cup...Read more...

Letter from the President:Strategic Planning Notice & Survey Invite

09/18/2023 12:54:05 PM


Dear Community,

At our recent meeting, the LJCC Board agreed to undertake a strategic visioning process to help us look forward and plan a thriving future for our congregation.  

There will be a number of opportunities for everyone to participate in this process and to provide substantial input. We are starting with a survey and then will conduct some small group community conversations. For folks...Read more...

After Shavuot 5783: Two pathways through the Torah

06/20/2023 10:36:07 AM


Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of hosting Rabbi Doug Alpert of Kol Ami, KC for our Shabbat services. Amid his discussion of the possible pathways upon which a modern shul might thrive, R'Alpert also addressed what has been (for me) since Shavuot, a major source of befuddlement: "what parsha are we meant to be reading this week??" If, for instance, you were to have visited hebcal on June 14 in preparation for Shabbat, then you...Read more...

Highlights from the 2023 Annual Meeting

06/16/2023 10:39:51 AM


The LJCC is realizing a long-time goal of establishing an endowment thanks to the generous gift of 75K from the estate of Anita Herzfeld. The establishment of the L'dor V'dor fund is a significant step toward ensuring organizational stability and long-term fiscal health. New board line-up for FY24: President, Robin Rosenberg; Vice-President, Shelley Skie; Treasurer, Jordan Yochim; Corresponding...Read more...

Message from the Treasurer

06/16/2023 10:23:05 AM


First, I want to thank everyone who attended the annual meeting for not throwing tomatoes at me, and for your forbearance as we worked through the complicated financial status of the LJCC. Passing the budget that we did – a clear investment in the future of the LJCC, admittedly using banked resources at first – is a remarkable testament to how far this congregation has come in the past few years. As a brief reminder here are...Read more...

Sat, May 25 2024 17 Iyyar 5784