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By now we are all familiar with the story of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, the Mesa mom who came to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of 14, and who was recently deported in an initiative to enforce the strictest standard of law.

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In the many years that I have been reading the Jewish News, I never recall an editorial that dealt exclusively with politics and, other than expressions from Jewish organizations, had nothing to do with Jewish life or Jewish affairs in the Valley. So if we are going to get involved in politi…

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Last week’s UN Security Council vote against Israel’s right to allow Jews to buy land and build homes in the historic Jewish homeland of Judea and Samaria was a blow against human rights and religious liberty.

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When the Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry, has to go on television and speak for 72 minutes in an attempt to explain and justify the decisions of the president, then it is obvious that those decisions were wrong. It can only be compared to an attorney delivering his closin…

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Mathew Karlovsky’s assertion that Jews voted contrary to their own best interests in the Nov. 8 election by overwhelmingly voting for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump is predicated on the false equivalence premise of saying Trump is pro-Israel and therefore pro-Jewish (“Jews and the G…

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“Anne Frank Today Is A Syrian Girl” was the headline on an Aug. 25 Nicholas Kristof column in The New York Times this year. He wrote about letters found in 2005 by a volunteer sorting WWII refugee files in New York City. The files looked like so many others until she saw the names of the chi…

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France has seen numerous anti-Semitic incidents in recent times but none that touched so many lives as the senseless attack at the Hyper Cacher market. A routine Shabbat afternoon suddenly became a worldwide event that brought attention to the French Jewish community and growing European ant…

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On June 12, we witnessed the largest mass shooting in U.S. history at Orlando, Florida’s Pulse nightclub – an attack targeting the LGBTQ community, claiming 49 precious lives and wounding over 50 more.

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I have a former professional colleague who used to cynically joke that his idea of horse-trading was “first, you give me your horse.” The moral of his tongue-in-cheek business humor is that entering into a collaboration sounds like a good idea at first but, often, it just doesn’t work out so well.

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I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to what to say about the Better Together program and what it has meant to its participants, along with what it should mean to all of us.  

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A month ago, Jewish families around the world could be found sitting together at their tables and celebrating one of our most important holidays: Pesach. We are all familiar with the smells and memories that a seder brings. We are also all familiar with the family members who attend our sede…

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Regarding the recent article “Senior rides split from federation” (Jewish News, May 6), I’d like to offer some clarification about the events that led to the split. First, we didn’t “pull out” of the agreement; we terminated it, even though it had only been two months. 

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While many good-hearted people have encouraged supporting Prop 123 because they claim it is a good start and injects badly needed money immediately into the classroom, unfortunately, they are wrong. First, there will be a lawsuit regarding whether the enabling act requires congressional appr…

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Attending a policy conference with 18,000 participants can be overwhelming or invigorating. For me, it was the latter. Mostly because, the policy sessions I attended at the AIPAC Policy Conference were on a topic of importance for me: Latino-Jewish relations. Listening to leaders like Daniel…

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Rabbi Jeremy Schneider of Temple Kol Ami recently returned from a mission to Cuba with his synagogue; here are his reflections about the trip, written on the plane making the journey back from Havana to Phoenix via Miami. 

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Absorbing 30,000 new immigrants, addressing inequality of religious funding, providing pensions for Soviet olim from 35 years ago, negotiating egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall and providing Israeli shlichim at college campuses around the world to combat the BDS [boycott, sanction…

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Something is conspicuously missing from the current political cycle: meaningful attention to the ethnic identity of the candidates. It is interesting to note that Judaism does make an appearance among the principals. Donald Trump, current leader of the Republican pack and longtime supporter …

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While as Americans, we are, indeed, free to worship as we wish without government interference, the reality is that there are blocs of citizens who feel uncomfortable with alternative religious groups’ desire to express their deep spiritual convictions (or lack thereof).

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Esther and I would like to start by thanking you all for allowing us the incredible honor and experience of leading the 2015 Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix annual campaign. We are proud and grateful that this campaign is the most successful since the beginning of the Great Recession (“…

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The implementation of the Iran deal on Jan. 16 by executive action with the aid of the European Union and the blessing of the United Nations is a dark cloud that has settled across world Jewry and civilized nations as well. The forced normalization of Iran, the world’s largest sponsor of int…

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I was born in the Bergen-Belsen DP (Displaced Persons) camp just after the end of World War II. Most people think that after the concentration camps were liberated, things were fine. To the contrary, at Bergen-Belsen approximately 15,000 people died after liberation, and I was almost one of …

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“This is Am Yisrael,” she said, pointing to the enormous crowd. Noa Litman whispered these words in my ears Nov. 26, in the midst of her daughter’s wedding. I couldn’t believe it. Just days before, Rabbi Yaakov and Netanel Litman – her husband and son – had been murdered by terrorists.

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In waging war against terrorism, it is vitally important to identify the sources from which the enemy is activated. It is not enough to capture and kill every terrorist fighter. If the organizations and institutions that generate the warfare remain intact, the problem will persist as other f…

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I write this as the global community is unhinged, shaken and afraid. We are struggling to see through the darkness wrought by violence in God’s name. We are disoriented in the wake of the massacre of 130 people in Paris – an escalation of an ongoing campaign of terror waged by ISIS, the Isla…

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Another spate of violence has been brought to Israelis and Palestinians. Many simply reply “here we go again.” But that is not the way it has to be. The normalization of violence, incitement and hate in Palestinian society can and must end. It starts by holding accountable all leaders and me…

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In “Failure of American Jewry” (Jewish News, Oct. 2), Chaim Jablonowski expressed the opinion that Jewish Americans who support the nuclear agreement with Iran (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) or who failed to either oppose or support it were failing in their duty to Israel…

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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As a grass-roots organization dedicated for the past 122 years to protecting families, women and children, this is a topic of great importance to the National Council of Jewish Women.

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Throughout history and over thousands of years, there always seems to be someone or some group or some government that desires to wipe us out. The startling reality of that fact was recently demonstrated by Rabbi Yerachmiel Milstein during a Discovery program at the Scottsdale Hilton. He poi…

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Life is strenuous: There are careers to build, marriages to plan and begin and, most cherished of all, children to raise and give our love and support. It is not easy to juggle all the challenges that life presents us. Indeed, it is even more difficult to thrive without a strong community to…

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This past summer, I had the opportunity to visit a variety of tourist shops in some of the quaint towns that Cape Cod has to offer. As I entered the T-shirt section of one particular store, I was greeted by several different T-shirts each expressing New England Patriots patriotism. One proud…

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Standing with the marginalized, remembering the stranger and recognizing our human interdependence goes to the heart of religion. I was struck last summer, as a participant in an interfaith clergy gathering in Chicago (organized by the Industrial Areas Foundation), when my brother, Pastor Le…

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On my last night in Jerusalem, my mom and I had plans to meet my aunt and uncle at the old train station for dinner and an outdoor concert. On the way there we walked to the Pride Parade and decided we’d rather attend the parade instead of our original plans. During my L’Taken trip to D.C. w…

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This summer, I interned with the Ethiopian National Project at their headquarters in Jerusalem. ENP provides aid to Ethiopian immigrants to Israel and Ethiopian-Israelis to help them integrate into society and be able to compete with other Israelis at school or in jobs. They provide lessons …

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A couple of months ago, I commemorated an anniversary. I didn’t throw a party. I didn’t have an elaborate dinner. I didn’t even do anything special. But it was my 20th anniversary.

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Tikkun olam, the concept of repairing the world, has always been important to me. So this summer, I wanted to do more than sit around Phoenix in the grueling heat. I decided to go to Washington, D.C., and do something meaningful with my summer. I have been fortunate enough to be part of the …

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I used to think that talking donkeys were impossible, but then the impossible happened: the Supreme Court of the United States has legalized marriage between two people of the same sex throughout the country. We are now equal before the law. What a profound blessing.

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"For you are with me, your staff is there to support me" (Psalm 23:4). These words written by King David during a very trying time in his life indicate his faith and devotion to the salvation offered by God in times of distress. Sometimes we witness the tragedy of tragedies, the taking of in…

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Our hearts are heavy over the tragic loss of life in Charleston including the death of the church’s pastor, South Carolina State Sen. Clementa Pickney and we send prayers for the families and members of the Emanuel AME church of Charleston.

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The Greater Phoenix Jewish community is growing and changing at a rapid pace. Synagogues and community organizations have been working hard to recruit leadership to meet their needs for today. Unfortunately, only a small number of these groups have made it part of their mission to recruit an…

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I was impressed to read Larry Gellman’s opinion piece (“Baseless hatred of one Jew toward another over Israel,” Jewish News, May 29) attacking my article that called out J Street for half-truths about its support for Israel, because, apparently, my piece hit a nerve with him. He claimed that…

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I was disappointed to read Dr. Matthew Karlovsky’s attack on J Street (“J Street: The Jewish enemy within,” Jewish News, May 15). Disappointed that the Jewish News would publish an opinion piece which included so many allegedly factual statements that were either lies or distortions without …

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In late March 2015, a New Yorker article concluded that despite the difficult economic conditions of many Israelis, the Israeli public by and large did not trust Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, who head the Zionist Union political bloc, with Israel’s security. And if it’s one thing Israelis un…

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