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On Jewish News’ website July 17, Raymond Hirsh (“The Scottsdale Primary”) commented on the Scottsdale primary for mayor, and it had particular impact on me.

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What is the proper role of the federal government in local law enforcement activity? Two different programs being pursued by the Trump administration highlight the potential benefits and some real concerns that can come from such involvements.

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Since Israel’s emergency government was formed in May, the problems have only gotten worse. Last week, there was talk of another national election by the end of 2020 — the fourth in the span of two years.

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It’s not often that a person feels that he or she as an individual can have a real, tangible impact on a community through their work. For me, working as a tour educator for Birthright Israel has been one of those rare opportunities. And in the depths of a global pandemic, the lessons I have…

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“Beloved” is an apt word to describe John Lewis. He was more than a member of Congress, more than a civil rights leader and more than a friend of the Jewish people. Lewis, the Georgia Democrat who died July 17 at the age of 80, possessed an unusual combination of strength, courage, modesty, …

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I’ve known Rafal Pankowski, the Polish academic and campaigner against anti-Semitism and racism, for almost 20 years, but I don’t think I’ve heard him sound as worried about the political situation in his country as I did when he addressed a seminar last week on Polish anti-Semitism.

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Once you get past the schadenfreude, one could almost feel sorry for the New York Times. With the very public and searing announcement by op-ed staff editor and writer Bari Weiss of the reasons for her resignation from the paper, the curtain has been pulled back from the Gray Lady, leaving t…

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Flash back to the year 2001 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Bill Levine, a local philanthropist donated a thirty-acre plot of land near Scottsdale and Sweetwater Roads to build an anticipated Jewish Community Campus (JCC, Jewish Federation and associated agencies, Jewish schools, etc.), in honor of …

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SARS-CoV-2 may be novel, but the anti-Semitism and xenophobia that have spiked during this pandemic are anything but. History has shown that outbreaks, especially of diseases that are poorly understood or have just been discovered, can lead to fear and hatred towards specific groups.

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Peter Beinart, the journalist and political columnist, asks in an essay published last week in Jewish Currents: “What makes someone a Jew — not just a Jew in name, but a Jew in good standing — today?” He answers: “In haredi circles, being a real Jew means adhering to religious law. In leftis…

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No ethnic group has stood stronger with the Black community in America than the Jews have. From the early days of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Jews supported Black civil-rights organizations before the civil-rights movement crystallized and beyond. Jewish civil-rights attorney…

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July 1 has come and gone. That was the date Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set for moving ahead with Israel’s annexation of 30% of the West Bank. Perhaps it was a ploy to rally his base. Or maybe it was perceived as an opportunity to execute on a lifelong dream, which was sidetracked by t…

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For some of us, summer is a carefree time. As one Jew wrote: “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.” There’s at least one wrinkle in the enjoyment of those long summer afternoons: The spoilsport rabbis of yore gave us 22 days of semi-mourning smack dab in the middle of them.

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“Why are you wasting your time working with old people? You should focus your work on children. Children are a better investment of your time.”

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Four months ago, all of our schools were forced to close. That unexpected development required area educators to adapt their efforts to teach our children in ways they may have thought about, but never expected to invoke in the middle of the school year. Distance learning became part of our …

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A state does not have to fund private schools. But if it does direct public funds to private schools, it may not discriminate against private religious schools. That’s the essence of last week’s common-sense 5-4 Supreme Court decision.

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I remember sitting at work around the second week of March talking about this thing called COVID, and how it was going to affect our upcoming spring break camp at The J. Little did we know, everything was about to be canceled.

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Rep. Eliot Engel’s loss last week in a New York Democratic primary after 31 years in office is perhaps the most visible sign of the generational and ideological changes the party is undergoing. It also suggests that 2020 may be the year of Black candidates, as 2018 was the year of the woman.…

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Amid the coronavirus pandemic, which was particularly brutal in New York State, Gov. Andrew Cuomo prohibited overnight camps from opening this summer. The theory is that the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks outweighs the need for children to get away to camp after months of lockdown at home. But n…

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Shalom bayit is the Jewish religious concept of domestic harmony. Literally meaning “peace or harmony in the home,” it also refers to any practice or behavior likely to promote those ends. The goal is to create a space that is characterized by peace, nurturing, respect and chesed (loving-kin…

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For more than 30 years, charismatic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has spewed hatred and vitriol against Jews, white people and the LGBTQ community. And while he appears to be an equal opportunity hater, there is clearly a special place in his arsenal of blasphemy reserved for the Je…

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Facing ever growing anti-Semitism in the decades following the Holocaust, the Diaspora Jewish community’s common response has been to cry “Never Again” and to describe ourselves as the “canary in the coal mine,” which implies that whatever begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews.

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Why is food rotting in farmers’ fields while millions of Americans are facing food insecurity? Why are we forcing vulnerable people to line up for hours and place themselves in unsafe conditions to receive vital nutrition assistance?Why are policymakers hesitating to use every tool at their …

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Many Jews react to strong, visceral issues by saying, “We get it in the kishkes.” The murder of George Floyd is truly one of those issues, what the secular community would call a gut punch.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will put the question of Israel annexing about 30% of the West Bank to a government vote as early as July 1. As that date draws closer, critics are struggling to understand why a unilateral move is necessary, and supporters are struggling…

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There is no constitutional requirement that a president be the country’s consoler in chief, but there is a long history of presidential empathy.

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As described by the Jewish News, “In the wake of protests, local Jewish orgs show support for black community,” there has been a tremendous number of messages from Jewish communal professionals, rabbis, synagogues and other Jewish organizations in our community expressing their sadness, conc…

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Late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon recently made an awkward but admirable attempt to address his own perceived acts of racism and, in contrition, focused nearly his entire show on interviews with prominent African Americans and civil rights activists. He asked his guests what whites can …

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There are those whose light continues to shine. This week, we mark the passing of Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, president emeritus of Yeshiva University, at age 92, after a long illness and a splendid life.

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It may be hard to believe, but it was once considered unseemly for a U.S. presidential candidate to be seen campaigning for the job. Instead, a candidate would sit on his porch at home, welcoming supporters and collecting endorsements. While we have moved away from that more passive approach…

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In the beginning of the 20th century, not too long after my maternal great-grandfather arrived in New York from Eastern Europe, the police commissioner of New York City, Theodore Bingham, published a treatise titled “Foreign Criminals in New York,” in which he described the inherent criminal…

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The coronavirus has shaken the world. It has brought us worry, fear and helplessness. While sheltering in place, we have been searching for a better understanding of the virus, and anxious about prospects for resolution. These concerns have heightened our need for leadership, guidance and a …

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, the East Valley Jewish Community Center has been meeting the community’s emergency needs such as providing food and small relief grants, thereby demonstrating Jewish values throughout the East Valley. Support and activities intended to reach as many people as po…

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On the way to work, there was a bright orange sign that read, “Uneven Road.” This was followed by three identical “Bump” signs.

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It almost sounded like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s message to the Israeli people was something like: “Be careful what you wish for.” Instead, what he said in his Knesset speech as Israel’s 34th government was sworn in was: “The public wants a unity government and this is what the pub…

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Recently, a friend shared a joke. Question: What’s the difference between COVID-19 and “Romeo and Juliet”? Answer: One is coronavirus; the other is a Veronacrisis.

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The recent COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we live and interact. Although we have been asked to social distance, our perseverance has helped us find new ways to connect with those we love and cherish.

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The first jolt of the coronavirus pandemic hit young people just as the country was learning the scope of the danger. Schools were closed. Malls were closed. Extracurricular activities were canceled. And kids were forced to distance from their friends.

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Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty. The promise of religious liberty and religious freedom. American Jewish history begins with these images and concepts.

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On Monday evening, May 4, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before the television cameras and announced that Israel had achieved remarkable success in its battle against coronavirus.

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The coronavirus pandemic has prompted serious review by governments, businesses, organizations and communities of various aspects of their day-to-day operations, as each seeks to innovate or adjust in an effort to protect public health and safety.

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There’s a good reason why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank is being criticized by friends of Israel on the left, right and center. That’s because it’s a bad idea. As described in a New York Times op-ed by Daniel Pipes, one of Israel’s more forceful rig…

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