Parsha Lech Lecha: Making your own journey

This week I write in memory of my dear mother, Ethel Poliakoff Block (Etel bat Avraham Avigdor), whose jahrzeit was yesterday.  She was the sister, mother, grandmother and great grandmother of Scouts, including five Eagles.  This week’s parsha, Lech Lecha, starts the story of the Jewish people with the first Jews, Abram (from av Aram, […]

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Parsha Noach: The story of Noah

Today, we study in the hope that peace will soon return to Israel.  Please also pray for the refuah shleimah (speedy recovery) of Naor Shalav Ben Rut, a 13-year-old boy who was attacked by a terrorist and is in serious condition at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Dear Scouts, When people think about this week’s parsha, […]

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Sukkot – the Festival of Scout skills

Dear Scouts: This Sunday night, we begin Sukkot – the Festival of Scout skills! Well, it’s not really known by that name, but the mitzvot related to Sukkot involve Scout skills.  They are found in the last few verses of Chapter 24 of Vayikra (Leviticus). First, there’s astronomy.  God commands us to celebrate Sukkot on […]

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Yom Kippur and forgiveness

As is our custom, in preparation for Yom Kippur, we republish thoughts from Jordan Block, of Yeshiva Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem, on forgiveness. Dear Scouts: Yom Kippur is coming.  We’re currently in the special time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur called the Ten Days of “Repentance” - this is an approximation of the Hebrew word […]

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Statement from NJCOS chair Bruce Chudacoff about Scout’s ‘Duty to God’

Among the new requirements for Scout rank, there is in one in which a Scout is expected to explain his “Duty to God.” According to NJCOS chair Bruce Chudacoff, many Jewish Scouts may feel uncomfortable discussing this in a Scoutmaster conference or at a board of review. “For those Scouts who are uncomfortable discussing their […]

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