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Do you know the scene in Willy Wonka where all four grandparents share the same bed in an effort to keep warm? Texas has been like that this week, but without a daughter at the stove cooking soup.

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February has a variety of noteworthy qualities: the shortest month, Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, Arizona Statehood and, as of 2009, Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance & Inclusion Month.

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Among the marauding mix of white nationalist, neo-Nazi, Christian militia and QAnon insurrectionists storming through the Capitol on Jan. 6, calling for the hanging of then-Vice President Mike Pence and hunting down House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with seeming intent to harm, were prominent anti-…

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Protecting Holocaust survivors is uniquely important. They represent survival and resilience — and most importantly, they are the remaining eyewitnesses to the horrors of the Holocaust. As eyewitnesses, they are vitally important in educating future generations about the lessons of the Holoc…

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When you slip under the covers in your nice warm bed heading for a good night’s rest, what goes through your mind?  My guess would be thoughts about the just-completed day or what might be ahead tomorrow.

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With our nation still reeling from the insurrection in our nation’s capital, struggling to move past the divisiveness that threatens to tear apart the fabric of our democratic society and contending with a pandemic, all eyes are on Joe Biden as he enters the Oval Office after nearly 50 years…

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Just when we thought we had seen and heard everything, the unthinkable came: an assault on our nation’s Capitol.  Who could have thought that this was possible in the one country that understood, and maybe now understands better, the value of civility and reasonable discourse -- the one coun…

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With the threat of a renewed coronavirus outbreak, essential workers are even more needed on the front lines. Every day, our essential employees risk their lives to protect ours. Our nation has a responsibility to protect the health and financial stability of these heroes and their families.

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Democracy and civil society depend upon the commitment to two principles: objective truth and democratic process. Regrettably, both have come under assault in recent months, through baseless conspiracies of election fraud and a concerted effort to overturn the will of the majority of America…

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On Jan. 6, 2021, in the midst of unfolding chaos — the sounds of gunfire and shattering glass echoing around me — I made one of the toughest phone calls of my life. I FaceTimed my 27-year-old son and 24-year-old daughter, Clay and Addie, to see their faces and to tell them how much I loved t…

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After a horrible year of pandemic, poverty and polarization, will the coronavirus vaccine soon return the Jewish world to a semblance of normalcy?That’s the question without a clear answer as 2021 begins amid another surge of coronavirus cases, as well as the first rounds of vaccinations tha…

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The announcement of COVID vaccines should have been cause for celebration and relief. It was the first sign that we might actually beat this virus, come out of our homes, regain social contacts and rebuild the economy. It was a sign of hope that our Jewish institutions might survive this end…

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Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” begins, “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” While the classic opening describes a different time and place, the latter sentence could surely apply to what we experienced this past year with the coronavirus pandemic.

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If there is such a thing as the most famous Israeli or even the most famous Jew in the world, it is in all likelihood the actress Gal Gadot. Indeed, when a film like "Wonder Woman" is a hit from the U.S. to China and back again, it could hardly be otherwise. One imagines that the film has th…

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I remember my bar mitzvah party well, not because of how big it was, but because of how small. As a middle class child going to a wealthy suburban Jewish day school, I knew how outlandish some of the parties could be – large halls, DJs and five course meals. Even the invitations were big, ar…

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There’s a special place in my heart for Morocco. It’s not just that every scene of the movie “Casablanca” is like an old friend. I grew up there. Memory can play tricks on us — and I confess that my nostalgia for Casablanca may be idealized. But it’s there.

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While we often talk about the need to protect the land of Israel, those of us living outside of the Jewish state don’t talk often enough about what that really means.

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This fall, in the midst of a pandemic that has marked an uptick in our reliance on tech to keep us learning, working, connected and entertained, a group of former tech executives in Silicon Valley released a cautionary documentary called “The Social Dilemma.”

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There’s an old joke that every Jewish holiday can be summed up with a single statement: “They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat!” The particulars behind the punch line are that we have survived a lot of hatred, and many, but not all, of our holidays do include communal meals and celeb…

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Some 850,000 Jews have been deported from Arab countries and Iran, but their stories are not heard in E.U. meetings and their photos cannot be found hanging in exhibitions in the corridors of the United Nations. Their names are not mentioned in the thousands of U.N. resolutions of recent dec…

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It was about time. Almost exactly 35 years to the day after Jonathan Pollard and his former wife, Anne, were refused entry to the Israel embassy in Washington, the spy that the Jewish state’s operatives abandoned is being allowed to fulfill his dream of making aliyah.

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Depending on how you count, we’re now in month eight of this endless trauma. I’ve been describing it as a bitter Napoleon — you know those pastries that are layers of filo and cream? Instead of layers that are yummy, our layers are loss on trauma on grief.

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On Nov. 25, 1942, a five-paragraph article, buried on page 10 of The New York Times, confirmed the deaths at that time of 2 million Jews in Nazi-controlled Europe, and warned of the perilous plight of the remaining 4 million. The final solution was no longer a secret, if it ever had been.

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Many articles have been written about the long-term effects of the pandemic on mental health. They warn about isolation and loss of social connection. They remind us that while we should be taking precautions to physically distance ourselves from others, we need to stay connected. We are soc…

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Alongside the unexpectedly close result of the U.S. presidential election, preliminary polls show that the voting patterns of American Jews did not provide any surprises. It also showed how far a divide exists between American Jews and their Israeli counterparts. Yet following this incredibl…

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For the first time since ceding the reins of a Jewish newspaper, I was called a traitor last week by a member of the Jewish community. I was guilty of betraying Israel, of betraying the United States, of betraying the Torah, because I had voted for Joe Biden.

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The last few months, in the depths of the pandemic, I have been extremely quiet about my role as a COVID-19 front-line respiratory therapist. I was concerned that people would be uncomfortable around me given my close proximity to the plague. “Do you work directly with COVID patients?” they …

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It’s a new Middle East and anyone who has been following the news or more importantly, social media, is discovering an entirely new language with respect to Israel-Arab relations, one characterized by warmth, curiosity and excitement sparked by the recent peace deals signed between Israel an…

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Many pundits have claimed that the upcoming 2020 presidential election next Tuesday, is “the most important of our lifetime,” and are encouraging everyone to “go out and vote.”  

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We are living in a moment of deep division and disagreement. Political polarization in our country is more pronounced than at any point in our lifetimes. We watch people using social media to dehumanize those who hold different viewpoints, and we worry about the threat of political violence …

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The shooting on Oct. 27, 2018, at the Tree of Life building in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, impacted me in ways that I never expected. The feelings of shock, grief and vulnerability left a mark on me that I still feel today, and I’ve spoken to enough people to know that I am not alone in this.

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In this time of social distancing and sheltering in place, people all over the world are spending more time on streaming sites than ever before. However, as users go digging for content to fill their time, they are also coming across an increasing amount of anti-Semitic content. Unfortunatel…

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Clergy play an important role in combating domestic abuse: they speak out about the issues; they listen to victims; they offer counseling, referrals and spiritual resources; they seek to create safe environments within the institutions where they work. And clergy are often the first people t…

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October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, and the best way to prevent substance abuse is to talk about it. We must acknowledge that it is also a problem for us, the Jewish community. 

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He did it again. When presented at the first presidential debate of 2020 with another opportunity to make a straightforward condemnation of white supremacists, he refused. Or at least that’s what many headlines screamed the next morning after the train wreck of a debate that was held in Clev…

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Even amid scourges of seemingly biblical proportions — a pandemic, wildfires and floodwaters — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death jolted us with an unbearable blow. Though we knew she was battling a recurrence of cancer at age 87, she had vigorously beaten the disease four other times, so w…

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As his time grew short, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., recalled the words of an ancient Latin poet: “Death, death, plucks my ear, and says, ‘Live! I am coming.’” Death was surely coming for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Why, it was coming for years. At the end, her body was riddled with …

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