Resource of the month archive

Two Jews, Three Opinions: Diversity and Debate

Shevat 5778

This month we are inspired by that diversity to reflect on the diversity of people, personalities  and opinions that we often deal with in our work in Jewish communities. Working with all kinds of people and ideas can sometimes be challenging, especially when people disagree. The Jewish concept of Elu v’Elu (“both these and those”) helps us thrive in a world where not everyone has the same opinion.

Find out more

Question Time

Tevet 5778

As the New Year approaches, and many people are making New Year’s resolutions, at Yesod we are thinking more about the Jewish value of questions. Whereas resolutions fix actions in a particular direction, questions open us to multiple and new ways of thinking. Since G-d’s first question to humankind, “Ayeka – Where are you?” relating t Adan and Eve (see below), Jews have thought critically about the choices they make and the life they lead. Asking questions does not mean we find all the answers, but it does mean we will be on the path to becoming wiser.

Find out more

Chanukah – A Festival of Rededication


As Kislev begins our thoughts turn to Chanukah: the Festival of Lights. While Chanukah is probably best known for its twinkling candles in the Chanukiah, the name of the holiday itself has nothing to say about candles, the miracle of the oil or the menorah!

Find out more

Peoplehood in Practice: The JCC Model

Cheshvan 5778

The last few weeks have been a perfect time to see Jews functioning as a People; gathering together to pray, to celebrate, and to be together as families and communities. Some came for the spiritual dimension, others in order to feel belonging and connection, and yet others for the food, the singing and the cultural traditions. This is really Jewish Peoplehood in action!

Find out more

Shana Tova! Happy New Year!

Tishrei 5778

The central symbol of Rosh Hashanah is definitely the shofar – the ram’s horn that we blow during the prayers on both days of Rosh Hashanah. The loud, haunting cries of the shofar gather us together as a community and encourage us to reflect on the past and the future.

Find out more

Teshuva – the Power to Change

Elul 5777- September 2017

The Jewish year is drawing to a close again and with Rosh Chodesh we enter the month of Elul, the month of preparation for the holiday period of the High Holy days and Sukkot. Elul is traditionally considered the month of “teshuva”, which in English we often translate as “repentance”. The concept of “teshuva” reflects the idea that people can change. Jewish tradition offers us the opportunity to reflect on our lives and not be limited by our current situation. On the contrary, we have the option to look at ourselves in the mirror and make change. How does this process happen?

Find out more

Tu B’Av: The Holiday of Love

Av 5777- August 2017

This month we are inspired by the little-known minor festival in the month of Av known as “Tu B’Av”, or literally, the 15th day of Av. Tu B’Av is usually overshadowed by the much more familiar day Tisha B’Av (see more resources below), so this month we thought we’d concentrate on Tu B’Av, and the idea of Love.


Find out more

Tammuz- Planting for the Future

Tammuz 5777- July 2017

As Jewish community professionals and educators, we tend to be focused on the future. We plan programmes that will have impact in the future, we teach our young people so that they will take over from us when they grow up, and we think about what might be next. If we are lucky we see some results immediately, but often the most important results will be further off in the future, and we may never see them.

Find out more

Shavuot – Ruth and Jewish Peoplehood

Sivan 5777- June 2017

Last month we focused on the holiday of Shavuot, which falls on the 6th and 7th Sivan (this year, 31st May-1st June), and discussed the idea that within the Torah (which, traditionally, we celebrate receiving on Shavuot) are always multiple opinions and approaches, which we call machloket.

Find out more

Iyar – Countdown to Torah

Iyar 5777 - May 2017

Welcome to the month of Iyar! After all the excitement of Pesach, Iyar is traditionally a month of transitions; it is a month of counting. During Iyar we literally count our way through the period known as the Omer, marking the 49 days from the Exodus from Egypt to the Giving of the Torah. Every evening we say a blessing and declare which day we have reached. For more information on Counting the Omer and its meanings, see the resources below.

Find out more

Nisan 5777: Happiness, Pesach and Jewish Life

Nisan 5777 - April 2017

It’s Spring! This means that Pesach (Passover) is just around the corner! One of the names for Pesach is “Chag HaAviv”, “The Festival of Spring” and it makes sense that we celebrate our rebirth as a free nation at the same time as we experience rebirth in the natural world (at least in the northern hemisphere).

Find out more

Adar 5777: The Power of Telling Jewish Stories

Adar 5777 - March 2017

Welcome to the month of Adar and one of the busiest and most exciting periods of the Jewish year. Not only will be celebrating Purim soon (this year on March 12th), with all the food, noisy celebration and partying that goes with that holiday, but as soon as it is over we will have Passover (Pesach) – just four more weeks after that. And that brings lots of action – cleaning, learning, and preparing for the Seder and more.

Find out more

Shevat: The promise of Spring...

Shevat 5777 - February 2017

Chodesh Tov! Even in the depths of winter, there is the promise of Spring. According to one opinion in Jewish tradition, we celebrate the New Year for the Trees – Tu B’shevat – on the 15th day of Shevat because that is when, deep inside the trees, the new life begins.

Find out more

Tevet: New Years and New Resolutions

Tevet 5777 – January 2017

Winter is… here. We have arrived at the darkest part of the year, and the Chanukah candles have burnt brightly, illuminating the darkness. Welcome to the month of Tevet, and the year 2017. Happy New Year!

Find out more

Kislev: Chanukah

Kislev 5777 – December 2016

For Kislev we offer you a brand new podcast, “Chanukah: The Tofu of Jewish Holidays – the multiple meanings of the festival” by Rabbi David Levin-Kruss, with suggestions for how to use the ideas in your work.

Find out more

Cheshvan : A time of transition

Cheshvan 5777 – November 2016

One of the things we most appreciate about the Jewish calendar is the way that the cycle of the holidays captures and drives our energy on a collective and individual level. Over the course of the year the calendar creates a flow of reflection, celebration, mourning and renewal.

Find out more