Explore news and featured stories about Jewish Federation programs, volunteers, donors, special events and updates from our partners in Israel. Learn how you can become more in engaged with the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara.

A Sabbath Message: Purpose and Paradox

How do you measure the merit of a life? This week’s Parsha, Chayei Sarah--meaning “the Life of Sarah”-- focuses entirely on events happening after Sarah’s death. Sarah’s presence in this Parsha is experienced only through her absence from it. One of many illuminating paradoxe…

A Sabbath Message: What’s in a Mitzvah?

Human Connection and the Importance of Common Decency

Lech Lecha, God instructs Abraham in this week’s parsha. Go, seek out a new land. A new way of being in the world. This follows on the heels of the story of Noah. We humans were not on our best behavior. God had more or less given …

A Sabbath Message: Light a Fire That Warms Everyone

When I was a kid growing up, I pretty much knew all the kids on my block, my parents knew their parents. There were block parties. We’d spend the fourth of July having picnics and lighting sparklers. Kids from the neighborhood spent their time running from house to house and playing with w…

A Sabbath Message: Festival of Sukkot – “To Everything There is a Season”

“To everything there is a season, a time for every experience under heaven.
A time to be born and a time for dying.
A time for planting and a time for uprooting the planted.
A time for tearing down and a time for building up.
A time for weeping and a time for laughing.
A time for wailing a…

A Sabbath Message: On Yom Kippur, the Gates Close – and We Let Go

“All vows – all promises and pledges – that we have made to ourselves.
And that no longer serve – for the good.
May their grip be loosened.
That we be present of mind and heart – to the urgency of the hour.”

– Creative Interpretation of Kol Nidre by Poet Marcia Falk

The fi…