CONVERSATION IS KEY TO OVERCOMING ANXIETY
MEET RABBI KRAKOFF—This rabbi is an expert in end-of-life conversations, but his wisdom about talking with family members has far broader implications in this time of global anxiety. Rabbi Joseph Krakoff and educator-illustrator Michelle Sider created the beautifully illustrated new book Never Long Enough as a way for families to talk with loved ones approaching the end of life. Or, the book can be opened after the passing of a loved one—to recall the richness of the person’s life.
We think the book has even broader appeal—as a collection of intriguing illustrations and poetic prompts to spark conversation about the goodness and enduring richness of life. And, honestly, can’t we all use more of that right now?
Recently, writer Leslee Komaiko of The Jewish Journal, the largest Jewish weekly newspaper in the U.S., interviewed Krakoff about his efforts to spread the wisdom of Never Long Enough to families coast to coast. (The photo with this news item is from a recent book signing event in Los Angels. Photo courtesy of Atara Krakoff.)
Want to learn more about the book? Visit the book’s website at www.NeverLongEnough.net, where you can read comments from readers and praise from other writers. Or, you can go right to the book’s Amazon page where you’ll find a growing list of reviews (and an overall rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars). That link goes to the paperback edition. There also is a hardback version.
‘CULTURE OF RECIPROCITY’
DR. WAYNE BAKER—Since the founding of ReadTheSpirit, the all-time most popular writer in our ever-expanding circle of writers is the University of Michigan sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker, who is an internationally known specialist in values and related issues like “reciprocity” at UofM’s Ross School of Business. Along with his wife Cheryl Baker, CEO of Humax, the Bakers developed a widely used method of teaching groups to build a culture of reciprocity—using a tool they call the Reciprocity Ring.
Recently, Schon Beechler wrote a column for the online business-management magazine Knowledge, headlined: Creating a Culture of Reciprocity.
Want to learn more? Visit Dr. Baker’s United America book page. You’ll find lots of creative ideas for joining a nationwide dialogue about what unites us—a truly remarkable idea in mid-2017!
Want to see all the holidays? Remember www.InterfaithHolidays.org.
OBON—This international celebration has roots in Japanese culture, Buddhism and Confucianism as well, honoring ancestors as families and friends come together to perform traditional dances and light lanterns. Because of varying interpretations of the calendar, Obon festivals may be scheduled in July, although the peak of the observance in Japan is in mid August. Stephanie Fenton has the story—including links to inexpensive Do-It-Yourself lanterns.
SUZY FARBMAN regularly brings our readers stories of uplifting convergence—people coming together in surprising and hopeful ways. In this week’s column, Suzy found herself halfway around the world—where she discovered this true story of two Americans who were hoping for a second marriage and … Well, please, simply enjoy the story, the photos—and remember to share it with a friend.
FAITH & FILM
ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work freely published at VisualParables.org. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with complete study guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.
Among Ed’s latest free movie reviews are:
- THE EXCEPTION—Christopher Plummer is wonderful in this mix of historical elements, romance and suspense. (4.5 out of 5 stars)
- A QUIET PASSION—Ed writes, “British filmmaker/writer Terence Davies has given us a wonderful film to enhance our enjoyment of Emily Dickinson’s wonderful poetry.” He urges viewers not to miss the movie, which he gives 5 stars.
- DEAN—With Kevin Kline and Mary Steenburgen co-starring, there’s a lot to recommend this comedy that focuses on real-life issues. (4 stars)
- OH, GOD! This week, Ed also urges us to reach back and rediscover the delightful comedy in which George Burns plays the Creator and John Denver plays the anxious human in need of divine help. (5 stars)
- THE BEGUILED—If you’re looking for a good movie, this week, and you’re not interested in comic-book heroes or cartoons—Ed does recommend this erotic thriller, giving it 4.5 stars.
- CARS 3—”Director Brian Fee, who served as a story artist on the first two films of the Pixar series, redeems the franchise after the critics’ drubbing of Cars 2,” writes Ed, giving the film 5 stars!
- MEGAN LEAVEY—Featuring Kate Marla in her best role yet, this “based on a true story” film is part military and part redemption themed, as well the bonding of pet and mistress. (4.5 stars)