Office Hours at CSULB

Beach Hillel logo from website smallerYesterday, I began being available on-campus at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) for office hours.  I will be there Tuesdays (September 12th UPDATE:) Wednesdays for the fall semester from 1:30-3:30 in the University Interfaith Center (Brotman Hall, room 178).  It has been a few years since I last held office hours on-campus at CSULB, but will be looking forward to being on-campus at CSULB than I have in a couple of years.  One of the reasons for not having had office hours in recent years was that I seldom had students dropping by, but at least students will know that I’m there and available for them.

Leading Discussions at Moishe House Thus Far in 2013

Leading a discussion on Mezuzahs at the Moishe House of Orange County in January

This year, I have led several discussions at the Moishe House of Orange County, which has been a great collaborative relationship.  One of the things that makes it great is that we each bring things to the table: they bring the young adults and put out topic-appropriate foods/drinks and I bring the Jewish content.

The first in 2013 was “Margaritas & Mezuzahs: A How-To”, which was a fun event in January.

Leading a discussion at Moishe House on Sexual Positions According to the Rabbis of the Talmud in April

The second was a part of SoCalJYAE‘s spring series on sex, on “Sexual Positions According to the Rabbis of the Talmud” in April, which was fantastic.  At the conclusion of that event, the residents suggested we push the envelope even further.

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Leading a discussion on masturbation at the Moishe House in July

Thus, resulted two summer discussions on topics that are seldom discussed in Jewish life.  The first of these was “Bloody Marys and Menstruation” in June, with the second being in July on masturbation.

It’s not clear where this great collaboration with the Moishe House of Orange County will go, but we are providing some very fresh discussions for young Jewish adults in Orange County!

No More Newsletters, Per Se: Concerning Communications

Front page of the October 2012 issue of the SoCalJSS Newsletter

Since January 2010, I have been putting out newsletters for my job (with Southern California Jewish Student Services and also Southern California Jewish Young Adult Enrichment), however, I have recently realized that I should discontinue doing so.  While attending the 2013 Hillel Institute, I realized that not that many people spend the time to read a double-sided 8.5×11 .pdfs I produce (even if some people read the printed copies, it’s still not enough).  It just does not seem to make sense to me to continue spending as much time as I do on dealing with the layout of the newsletters, since it’s just a hassle that does not yield enough readership attention.  While it did make sense when I was getting issues sponsored, it was worthwhile as a revenue-generator, it’s been a couple of years since I have consistently had it sponsored.

Although I will continue putting out monthly e-mails to communicate my activities, in lieu of linking to the online pdfs of the newsletters, I will be [doing what everyone else does:] linking to articles of content about the events, activities, etc.

In a related matter, I realized yesterday that although the newsletters were up on the SoCalJSS website for anyone to read to discover and get a sense of my activities with SoCalJSS (I started putting pages together for SoCalJYAE), there wasn’t an easy way to quickly discover with which activities SoCalJSS has been involved.  So, I put together some pages to detail SoCalJSS’ activities with other organizations.  While I need to further work on developing the content therein, at least they’re there 🙂

On the Foundations of my Jewish Identity

IMG_0212 - CopyToday, I published a piece on my Jewish identity on my personal blog.  In it, I primarily discuss how I got interested in living Jewishly, which was inspired by a question at a BBYO program I attended, as well as being happily surprised by finding a fellow rabbi’s articulation of his Jewish identity.  It is helpful in understanding how I relate to my Jewish identity.  I wonder if others have a similar approach.