Large Enough to Serve You
Small Enough to Know You

Posts by Rabbi Elana Zelony

Rabbi Elana Zelony

Leadership and Relationships in Richardson

For the past nine months I’ve participated in a program called Leadership Richardson. It’s run by the chamber of commerce to train the next generation of leaders. Many of our city’s elected officials and non-profit board members came through this program before being chosen for their positions. In the program, we develop skills and form […]

Rabbi Elana Zelony

Passover and Freedom

Ask people to free associate with the word Passover, and many people will forgo lofty ideas like redemption to say, “matzah.” Instead of cracking the inevitable joke about prunes, I’d like to examine this answer more closely. It’s not a frivolous answer. Matzah is not only a food, it is a symbol. It is a […]

Rabbi Elana Zelony

The Shul with a Pool

As many of you know there have been concerns that our membership is not large enough. The board and I have gone through a strategic process to decide how to address this issue. Based on the success of Jewish Community Centers around the country, we’ve decided to become…The Shul with a Pool. As of the […]

Rabbi Elana Zelony

Inclusion and Mitzvah

February is National Inclusion Month. Our sacred texts teach us not only to include all, but to empower all to be independent. Take a look at this example from the Talmud (Beitzah 16b). “A certain blind man would recite mishnayot for Mar Shmuel, who saw that he was sad. He said to him, ‘Why are […]

Rabbi Elana Zelony

Just Jew It – Doing Jewish

“Doing Jewish”—embracing Jewish rituals, traditions and law—can be challenging. I know because I’ve been there. However, doing Jewish really helps with being Jewish. Let me start with the challenges, and then I’ll move on to the rewards. Obstacles to Doing Jewish Not growing up with much Jewish ritual in my home meant that sometimes I […]

Rabbi Elana Zelony

An Investment for Your Future

Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing four young women lead Adon Olam together on our bima. They grew up at Beth Torah and lead the prayer in honor of an upcoming wedding. I enjoyed seeing the connection they felt to one another as they sang. A few days, later I met with a congregant […]

Rabbi Elana Zelony

Sukkot and Celebration

We just celebrated my favorite holiday, Sukkot. It wasn’t always my favorite. As a child I had no idea that Sukkot was a major holiday celebrating abundance and expressing joy. It was merely shaking a lulav at Sunday school. So, I was astonished when I traveled to Israel for the first time and discovered children […]

Rabbi Elana Zelony

High Holidays are the Great Unifier

High Holidays as a Unifier The thing I love most about the High Holidays is that they are the great unifier of the Jewish people. Once a year, we have the opportunity to see all of our Jewish family together. Unified by the common experience of tshuva, returning to our finest selves, we gather in […]

Rabbi Elana Zelony

Epic Fail and Starting Over

Urbandictionary.com is an open-source site where the average citizen contributes to the definition of the words found there. As the High Holidays approach I’ve been contemplating the phrase, “epic fail.” According to one entry on Urban Dictionary epic fail means, “complete and total failure when success should have been reasonably easy to attain.” Epic fail […]