Elul Learning Challenge


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The Daily Blast is a collection of short videos submitted by members of Jewish Cleveland focusing on each day’s theme of Elul from A-Z. 

During Elul it is customary to blow the shofar every morning to remind us that Rosh Hoshanna is coming. The sound of the shofar’s blast is meant to inspire us and motivate us to take advantage of this time. We hope The Daily Blast will do the same!

Abbie Levin and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland welcome you to this year’s 30 Day Elul Learning Challenge, Elul from A-Z.

Rabbi Pinchas Landis from Partners Cleveland shares insights on the symbolism of blowing the shofar during the month of Elul.

Rabbi Nissim Abrin (Cong. Bais Avrohom) says that during Elul we should hold ourselves accountable but be forgiving of others.

Ruchi Koval, of Jewish Family Experience (JFX), explains the importance of respecting the boundaries of others in relationships.

Jeremy shares thoughts about Super Sunday and how the annual campaign for Jewish needs is about connection, a theme of Elul.

Channa Ireland says that Chaviva High School’s Annual 5K teaches students to achieve goals with hard work and discipline.

Rabbi Bensoussan (YHSC) says that empathy is not about solving people’s problems but just being there for them and listening.

Rabbi Jacoby (Partners Cleveland) says it’s good to remember that we should believe in God because He believes in us!

Rabbi Arieh Friedner (DailyGiving.org) says we should give Tzedaka during Elul and that giving should be a part of who we are.

Brad Schlang, (lay leader at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland) says the key to fixing bad behavior is being honest with oneself.

Rabbi Tenenbaum says that Elul is the time to train ourselves to be players in the game of life, not superfans.

Alex Fleksher says that finding joy in the small things and being content with what we have will set us up for a good year. 

Rabbi Adler (Cleveland Chessed Center and JFSA) says that acts of kindness atone for our sins and is one way we emulate Hashem.

Adina Soclof (MS. CCC-SLP), parenting expert, author and founder of ParentingSImply.com shares tips on loving children unconditionally.

Erica Starrfield (Federation Vice Chair and practicing yogi) says mindfulness is to focus on one thing at a time, let go, and prioritize.

Joanne Davis (Israel Bonds) talks about a program that encourages students to nurture their relationship with Israel.

J. David Heller, (Executive Committee for the Jewish Federation of Cleveland) encourages everyone to learn a new prayer every year.

Matt Kaliff (the Jewish Federation) says that God judges us individually, because we each have a unique purpose.

Q is For Questions

Daniella Botnick (Hebrew Academy of Cleveland) says having faith means questioning and wrestling with doubt.

R is for Resilience

Rabbi Avery Joel (Fuchs Mizrachi School) says that resilience is important and that success comes from the ability to rise above failure.

S is for Spirituality

Jay Leberman (Mandel JDS) tells the story of a simple shepherd boy’s unusual Yom Kippur prayer that went straight to heaven.


Marlyn Jaffe (JEC) and her husband Ari say Tradition is the framework for Jewish living and learning with values and consistency.

U is for Understanding

Elissa Wuliger (JFNA National Young Leadership Cabinet) says that living Jewishly is about actions leading to understanding.

V is for Vision

Rochie Berkowitz (Principal of Chaviva) says sight is what we see with our eyes, and vision is what we dream with our minds and hearts.

W is for Worldview

Erika Rudin-Luria (Jewish Federation of Cleveland President) and her son Ari discuss their values- family, friends, and community.

Dan Zelman (Federation Board Chair) takes a break on a 7 day mission to Israel with an important message about going the extra mile.

Y is for Yielding

Rabbi Mendy Alevksy (CWRU Chabad) says yielding is fundamental to all relationships, with family, friends, coworkers, and Hashem. 

Z is for zeal

Ginny Galili, Randy Boroff, and Elana Perlin (Gross Schechter Day SChool) take turns enthusiastically rhyming about zeal for life.

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