Gil Perl

A Shul is Reborn

Burned to the ground on Kristallnacht, the Meiningen Synagogue emerges from the rubble 71 years later

Silvrback blog imageTwo years after fleeing Nazi Germany as a fourteen year-old boy, Dieter Gruen learned that the beautiful synagogue in which he had had his bar mitzvah, and in which his father had been a cantor, had been burned to the ground.  Though the young Dieter had safely reached the shores of the United States, the rest of his family was still . . .

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October 29, 2019

Torahs from a Mole

Inspiration from the life of Mr. Ira Lipman, z"l

Unlike most other Yeshivot, at Kohelet we've had a longstanding tradition of having school on the morning of Erev Yom Kippur in order to help set the mood and frame of mind for our kids before entering into one of the most important - yet difficult - days for any Jewish teen.

 

Here is link to a clip of our high school "slow . . .

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October 10, 2019

A Call for Clarity

Derashah for the 2nd Day of Rosh Hashanah 5780

In speaking last spring with Ha-Rav Moshe Lichtenstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion, I mentioned to him that we were planning a 20th anniversary trip to Italy over the summer.  He then informed me that his father and my teacher, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, ztz”l, had also taken an anniversary trip to Italy with his wife Tovah. . . .

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October 02, 2019

Rebellious Jewish Women

Derashah for the 1st Day of Rosh Hashanah 5780

Rebellious Jewish women are hard to escape.  Or, at least they are today.

 

The first one we encounter is Sarah who in this morning’s Torah reading has an uneasy feeling about the environment in which she is raising her son Yitzchak and the influence of his half-brother Yishmael.  When she decides to take . . .

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October 02, 2019

From Lithuania to Lakewood: A Response to American Anti-Semitism

Talk of the relationship between the Jewish community and their non-Jewish neighbors in the United States today almost exclusively centers on the growing threat of American anti-semitism.  Depending on the geographic location, religious affiliation, and political leanings of the particular community, the focus may be on the rise of . . .

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May 22, 2019

What vs. Why: Teaching Self-Awareness

A lesson in metacognition

One of our core Learning Principles at Kohelet Yeshiva Lab School and Kohelet Yeshiva Middle School is that "Self Reflection Fuels Progress."  In educational terms, it refers to the importance of metacognition in the learning process.  Like all other cognitive tasks, however, metacognition or self-reflection is not something we can . . .

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May 07, 2019

Summoning Our Inner Chareidi

Derasha for the 2nd Day of Rosh Hashanah, 5779

There are few phrases that encapsulate the ideals and aspirations of Torah Judaism quite like the phrase, yirat shamayim.  Literally translated, the phrase means “fear” or “awe of Heaven.”  Yet, in recent years Jewish thinkers have made the rather convincing case that this phrase actually has little to do . . .

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September 12, 2018

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