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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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I am aware that our technology is available to the entire world. To be able to watch and participate in Shabbat and Yizkor services, virtual seders, Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron memorials, Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations, Israeli entertainment, lectures and interviews with Jewish scholars from …

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I am not an alarmist. I tend to play down media hype and don’t get swept up in mass hysteria. Therefore, when my parents shared their concern regarding the early reporting of the novel coronavirus, I remained calm.

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April 21, 2020, is the observance of Yom Hashoah, which commemorates the lives of Holocaust victims. This year is also the 75th anniversary of the liberation of many concentration camps, where millions of our Jewish people were ruthlessly murdered through acts of pure evil.

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My roommate is trying to fix the dripping faucet. This is not a coronavirus problem: The tap in the kitchen has been weepy for years, and we’ve all mastered the decisive handle-twist — jam down, then pull quickly to the right — required to stop the drip.

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Just hours before the seder, British Jews heard the shocking news that the nation’s leading national-circulation Jewish newspapers, The Jewish Chronicle and The Jewish News, were being liquidated. The Kessler Foundation, which owns both papers, has run out of money. When local advertising dr…

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B’chol dor vador chayav adam lirot et atzmo k’ilu hu yatza mimitzrayim — in every generation, each Jew should regard themselves as if they personally came out of Egypt.

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My friend was the first to spot the rainbow. Smaller than an index card, a wicket of wobbly lines — red, vermilion, lemon, green, blue — colored by a child’s hand, then affixed to the trunk of a twiggy maple in the woods near my home.

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Notice of quarantine due to the coronavirus.

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We are glad that Gov. Doug Ducey at last has issued a stay-at-home order. It will help keep the people of Arizona safer from COVID-19. Even still, it’s imperative that we all do everything possible to go above and beyond the requirements of the order. We represent clergy from around the stat…

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The world changed overnight. Yesterday, kids went to school, people went to work and there was toilet paper on the shelves. Just like that, the rug was pulled out from all of us. Our new reality needed to be learned in a 60-second speed course while our children watched.

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This weekend, I had some chest pains, which isn’t entirely unusual. I have asthma, and I’ve had this kind of pain before. Normally, I just take my inhaler and maybe some ibuprofen. But this weekend, for the first time, the

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“There is no room in this world for hate.” That sounds moral and obvious. But unfortunately, it is not true. In fact, there is too much room in this world for hate.

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“Be strong. Be strong. Let us strengthen one another.” March 5th’s MEGA 2020 for the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix ended with powerful words from keynote speaker Joshua Malina, Hollywood actor and mensch. More than 400 attendees came out for a wonderful night filled with celebration a…

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Chinese officials announced Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020 that they had identified a new virus. To date, more than 90,000 people have been affected by the coronavirus globally, including 3,000 deaths. In many countries, schools and universities, malls and sports stadiums, have been ordered shut. Maj…

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Last June I was asked to help plan the future of the National Museum of American Jewish History as it was nearing the 10th anniversary of moving into a spectacular new 100,000 square foot building on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall.

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With the outbreak of the COVID-19 “coronavirus,” there has been an additional side effect alongside the maladies of the virus: the rise of xenophobia towards Chinese-American and Chinese communities. Indeed, misplaced fears over the virus have led to a decrease in traffic to Chinese-owned bu…

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When I retired two years ago, I began asking myself a number of questions: What would my next chapter look like? How would I write it? How could I make a positive impact on my local Phoenix community? How could I use my skills and experience to support issues and causes that are close to my …

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Thank you for making the Jewish News the place you trust for timely reporting of news and features about our local Jewish community. The Jewish News’ success would not be possible without the community’s tremendous support for our print and digital products. Thank you for keeping the free pr…

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February is American Heart Month and a good time to focus on heart health issues. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. It affects about 75 million people in the United States, or 29% of the adult population.  

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