Visit us At 5th and Market Streets on Independence Mall



Want to see each Sacred Story?

Click the title of each Sacred Story to view the PDF.

For other upcoming news,
sign up for our mailing list!

About Sacred Stories

Both the Jewish People and the United States of America are rooted in a quest for greater freedom and human dignity. Inspired by this parallelism, the National Museum of American Jewish History is collaborating with Clal—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and its Rabbis without Borders program to launch a new initiative, Sacred Stories: A Living Commentary on the Hebrew Bible and American Jewish History.

Sacred Stories weaves together Judaism’s foundational sacred text, the Torah, with one of the most successful expression of freedom in human history, the story of Jewish life in America. Sacred Stories explores our shared values by linking these two vital and compelling stories through contemporary commentary and 21st century media.

The Torah is a central feature of Jewish tradition. Used to refer generally to Jewish wisdom, it also refers specifically to the 5 Books of Moses which makes up the Hebrew Bible. A portion of the Torah text, a Parsha, is read on Shabbat (Sabbath). The whole Torah is read sequentially over the course of the year. Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest and begins on Friday evenings and ends Saturday night. Many Jews observe Shabbat to emulate God’s resting on the seventh day of Creation. The fourth commandment is to keep Shabbat holy which Jews do with festive meals, resting, and learning.

Sacred Stories ran from March 2013 – March 2014. You can read a press release about its initiation here.

March 25, 2013: Passover
Let My People Go by Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu
Find Yourself in Every Generation by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

April 6, 2013: Shimini
Food Matters by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

April 13, 2013: Tazria-Metzora
Who’s the Patient Here? by Rabbi Helaine Ettinger

April 20, 2013: Achrei Mot-Kedoshim
Promise of a New Start by Rabbi Yonah Berman
Comfort in a Time of Need by Rabbi Richard Hirsch

April 26, 2013: Emor
Home for the Holidays? by Rabbi Heidi Hoover

May 4, 2013: Behar-Bechukotai
Ring in Freedom by Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard

May 11, 2013: Bamidbar
A Community of Individuals by Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder PhD

May 12, 2013: Mother’s Day
Letting Go by Rabbi Heidi Hoover

May 14, 2013: Shavuot
The Blessing of Assimilation by Rabbi Irwin Kula

May 18, 2013: Nasso
Nasso, the Nazirite by Rabbi Darby Leigh

May 25, 2013: Beha’alotkha
Where Do You Belong? by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

May 27, 2013: Memorial Day
Choosing to Remember by Rabbi Irwin Kula

June 1, 2013: Shelach
Never See Yourself as a Grasshopper by Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard

June 8, 2013: Korach
Playing with Fire by Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder PhD

June 15, 2013: Chukat
Stories and Transitions by Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu

June 16, 2013: Father’s Day
Time to Honor Fathers by Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder PhD

June 22, 2013: Balak
Appreciating Others by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

June 29, 2013: Pinchas
Be Inspired by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

July 4, 2013: Independence Day
What Matters Most by Rabbi Doug Heifetz

July 6, 2013: Matot-Mase’ei
Called to Serve by Rabbi Heidi Hoover

July 13, 2013: Devarim
The Strength of Comfort, and the Comfort of Strength by Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman

July 16, 2013: Tisha B’Av
Healing Through Poetry by Rabbi Jason Herman

July 27, 2013: Ekev
The Universal Blessing by Rabbi Doug Heifetz

August 3, 2013: Re’eh
Celebrating Our Heritage by Rabbi Elianna Yolkut

August 10, 2013: Shoftim
When American and Jewish are One by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

August 17, 2013: Ki Tetse
The Power of Small by Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder PhD

August 24, 2013: Ki Tavo
Stepping Towards Freedom by Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder PhD

August 31, 2013: Nitzavim-Vayeilech
Ties That Bind by Rabbi Yonah Berman

September 2, 2013: Labor Day
Taking the First Step by Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder PhD

September 5, 2013: Rosh Hashanah
Returning to the Land of Your Soul by Rabbi Michael Ross and Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

September 7, 2013: Ha’azinu
Recording the Past by Rabbi Richard Hirsh

September 14, 2013: Yom Kippur
Leaving it Half Finished by Rabbi James Q. Kahn

September 19, 2013: Sukkot
Living the Land by Rabbi Elyse Seidner-Joseph

September 27, 2013: Simchat Torah
Setting the Course by Rabbi Rachel Ain

September 28, 2013: B’reishit
Separate Together: Can we have both universality and distinctiveness? by Rabbi Heidi Hoover

October 5, 2013: Noah
Signs of Hope by Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder PhD

October 12, 2013: Lech Lecha
A Land of Promise by Rabbi Albert Gabbai

October 19, 2013: Va’year
Recognizing Need by Rabbi James Q. Kahn

October 26, 2013: Chayei Sarah
Honoring the Dead by Rabbi Helaine Ettinger

November 2, 2013: Toldot
Departures by Rabbi Darby Leigh and Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder PhD

November 9, 2013: Vayeitzei
A Tribute to God by Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu

November 16, 2013: Vayishlach
Blessings for America by Rabbi Daniel Bar-Nahum

November 23, 2013: Veyeshev
Live Your Own Story by Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard PhD

November 27, 2013: Hanukkah
The Quintessential American Jewish Holiday by Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder PhD

November 28, 2013: Thanksgiving
Celebrate Abundance and Possibility by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

December 7, 2013: Vayigash
Showing Them the Way by Rabbi Steve Bayar

January 14, 2014: Mishpatim
The New Jew by Rabbi Jason Herman

January 31, 2014: Terumah
The Freedom to Create a Sacred Space by Rabbi Rachel Ain

March 28, 2014: Tazria
A Jewish Sexual Ethic by Rabbi Leana Moritt and Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder PhD