Summer lasts a little longer on South Padre Island, but there’s no place like home

By Patty Lewis

Welcome to fall weather, with its sunshine, cool temperatures and turning leaves.

A few Sisterhood members got together in late October to discuss ideas and projects as Wilma invited Jackie and me to her home for coffee and cake. We talked travel and family and scrapbooking and art projects and had such an enjoyable visit.

I had just returned from an event-filled 17 days in South Padre Island, Texas, to visit my son Grant and daughter-in-law Dawn. It was my first trip since my husband Ralph passed away in June.

Read More

A breath of divine air renews the process of creation as the Torah cycle begins again

By Student Rabbi Matt Derrenbacher

Each year, the Hebrew month of Tishrei can feel like an absolute whirlwind. We have Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat Shuvah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot … and finally we round out the month with Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah.

Amid this parade of holidays, we take some time to reflect on the year gone by and begin to look forward to the year that is to come.

Up to the point of Simchat Torah, we have celebrated the New Year, atoned for our sins and eaten/prayed/slept in sukkahs to commemorate our ancestors’ journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land.

Read More

“Crisis” leads to innovation and connects virtual and in-person congregants

By Betsy Frank

How many of you have watched the television program, Macgyver? If you have, you know Angus Macgyver can jerry rig anything and get out of a tough situation.

Well, prior to the High Holy Days we experienced a crisis, so to speak, at UHC. How, we wondered, could we provide multi-access services to our congregation?

Just like the sages of Talmudic times who tried to figure out how to practice Judaism without the Temple, we had to figure out how to innovate (with a limited budget) in times of COVID.

Read More

Bridge Project fulfills Terry Fear’s wish to recognize historic injustice in Vigo County

By Ken Turetzky

Injustice haunted Terry Fear and opposing injustice consumed her. She passed away Dec. 13, 2020, in the midst of a vigil to protest executions at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute.

Terry found no shortage of social justice causes in the present era — an oil pipeline on sacred Native American land in North Dakota, violent white supremacists in Charlottesville, migrant children detained in Florida — but died before she could help commemorate a sudden, brutal sequence of historic injustices perpetrated by citizens of her own community 120 years ago.

The violence claimed two victims — Ida Finkelstein, a Jewish schoolteacher just days short of her 21st birthday, and George Ward, a Black family man and foundry worker who was 25, according to census records.

Read More