the brandenblog

Branden Frederick is a San Jose-based nerd, technology manager, and photographer.

judaism
a new year for mind and body

a new year for mind and body

378
30 Sep 2020
We are in the season of the most sublime transition in the Jewish festival cycle. We are traveling from the mental to the physical. We have just passed through the introspective self-reflection of Yom Kippur, spending all day fasting and reciting pensive prayers and meditations, only to emerge spiritually transformed. The spiritual journey complete, we now embark upon the strenuous labor of constructing a sukkah. Read more.

Judaism and sheltering in place

Judaism and sheltering in place

using the tools of Judaism to perservere

389
31 May 2020
As the novelty of sheltering in place descends into a distant memory, and even tedium has become tedious, we lament the myriad social gatherings this pandemic has robbed from all of us, including many of our Jewish festivals. Because of this, it is important that we remember Judaism is not just a communal religion, but also has powerful personal rituals. Read more.

connecting to our families during the quarantine

connecting to our families during the quarantine

366
10 May 2020
Unfortunately I never got to know my grandparents as an adult. However, I did end up inheriting from them a dusty box of Judaica. It contained, among other things, a collection of free Passover Haggadot, the kind given away by organizations as a “thank you” to their supporters, dating back to the 1950s. Many are from food companies – coffee, matzah, wine – others are from Jewish and Israeli charities. Read more.

the future of reform judaism

the future of reform judaism

829
1 Mar 2020
What will a Reform Jewish Friday night Shabbat service look like 30 years from now? How many people will be in the congregation? Where will they be gathering? What will their backgrounds be? What will be the nature of their connection to the Jewish community? How will they wrestle with the contradictory aims to be traditional yet modern? Read more.

the chanukah spirit

739
4 Dec 2019
I sometimes write articles for my (Reform Jewish) congregation's monthly newsletter. Here's one I wrote to be published this month, all about digging into the roots of Chanukah. Read more.
I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice