Four Women’s Essays on Rosh Hashanah and on Friendships

For the past two years the three of us have formed an abiding friendship with B.J. Yudelson. Together we have engaged in two study groups that did not necessarily overlap yet nurtured us in ways that deepened our understanding of our lives and of our commitment to Jewish values, ethics and social justice.

In an essay posted just before Rosh Hashanah in 2014, and is reprinted here in this collection, B.J. wrote about a central verse in the Rosh Hashanah prayers that, “the best way to think of teshuvah, tefilah, and tzedakah (repentance, prayer and charity) is restoring the balance with oneself, with God, and with the community… By returning to one’s true self, by communicating with the Divine, and by performing righteous deeds we can cross to a place where we can write ourselves into the Book of Life. We can’t change what’s happened, but we can move forward to choose life.”

It will be a difficult Rosh Hashanah without her, B.J. died on August 8.

We offer the four following essays on the Jewish Pluralist to honor B.J.’s life and remember our extraordinary friendship, her legacy to us.

Deborah Kornfeld
Ayala Emmett
Ahavya Deutsch

Shanah Tovah
Shanah Tovah