Rabbi Sari Laufer is the Director of Congregational Engagement at Stephen Wise Temple in Los Angeles. A cum laude graduate of Northwestern University, Rabbi Laufer was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles in May 2006. Prior to coming to Wise, Rabbi Laufer spent 11 years as the assistant and associate rabbi at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City. Rabbi Laufer is a teacher of those young and young-at-heart, bringing her passion for rabbinic texts, social justice, and Judaism’s wisdom and relevance in the 21st century into the lives of those with whom she is privileged to learn and to share. Rabbi Laufer is a sporadic blogger (torahblahnik.blogspot.com), prolific Tweeter (@rabbilaufer), avid indoor-cyclist, and aspiring epicure. She now lives “in the Valley” with her husband and two children.
Turns out, it is still hard to be the Jewish kid at Christmas time. Even in 2018. Even in Los Angeles and its environs. Or suburban New York. Or the North Shore suburbs of Chicago.
As a rabbi, I…often field the Jewish questions from friends; I’m basically their go-to Jewish Google. So, imagine my embarrassment when I couldn’t easily answer a question from my oldest and dearest friend, who now lives in a very Jewish suburb of New York. Turns out, her daughter — now attending public kindergarten — has, surprise surprise, begun… >> Read More
I’m a congregational rabbi, so the month of August is always a bit anxiety-provoking. Whether the holidays are “early” or “late,” they are coming, and my mental checklist goes into…overdrive planning of sermons, services, and more. And this is to say nothing of the spiritual work; in the Jewish calendar, the month of Elul is meant to be one of anxiety for all of us. The shofar, sounded each day of the month leading up to the Jewish New Year, is a spiritual wakeup… >> Read More