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Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Many people do, despite the high failure rate of fulfilling those resolutions. The holiest moment in the Jewish calendar, Kol Nidre, is that moment on Yom Kippur when the cantor chants the words that release us from any vows — any neder in Hebrew — Ko…

(JTA) — Jewish eras can be defined by events (the fall of the Second Temple, the Inquisition, the founding of Israel) and by ideas (the rabbinic era, emancipation, post-denominationalism). A community reveals itself in the things it argues about most passionately.

When the previous Binyamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government was moving toward annexing parts of the West Bank in 2019 and the first part of 2020, it was easy for everyone to see what was transpiring. The proposals floating around were straightforward and simple to comprehend, whether it was …

Thanksgiving is a perfect time for reflection and thinking about food. On Nov. 22, I got to do both when the Arizona Kosher Food Pantry (AKFP) launched its food truck, Mazon Tov on Wheels. We were able to serve the homeless in the Thomas Road and 36th Street area and asylum seekers who were …

With antisemitism making headlines this week, I’ve been trying to find ways that I, as a young Jewish person, can feel connected to my broader Jewish community. It feels like a moment where it is especially important to engage politically, and do so Jewishly, with other Jews. So I decided to…

Every day, prosecutors use vast discretion to decide who is charged with a crime and how severe those charges will be. Unfortunately, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) has used that power to create a legacy of seeking harsh convictions and excessive sentences for low-level crimes.…

Tom Stoppard is one of those playwrights who flatters you with his erudition. His 1993 play “Arcadia” dives deeply into the mathematics of algorithms and fractals. His breakthrough 1966 play, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” is a graduate school-level midrash — an alternate telling —…

In her new book “Bad Jews,” Emily Tamkin frames recent American Jewish communal politics as a series of clashes between antagonists who insist there are right ways and wrong ways to be Jewish — that is, “good Jews” and “bad Jews.” It’s a useful and revealing way to look at how Jews fight amo…

Mike Hale ruined “The Gilded Age” for me. After reading his New York Times pan of the HBO series about Old New York — he called it ”a muddled and slapdash portrait … that consistently dips into caricature” — I figured there were plenty of other series worth my time and attention.

Turkey appointed a new ambassador to Israel in early October in what is a long overdue step towards establishing full diplomatic relations between the two nations. After having met with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, just a few weeks ago, I am not surprised. Erdoğan seemed sincere…

In the fall of 2011, the “Occupy” movement was in full force, and with it, a strong Jewish presence that led rituals and services like Occupy Rosh Hashanah and Occupy Yom Kippur. Jews recited Kol Nidrei in New York City’s financial center — the symbolic center of economic inequality and the …

I am one of those people who gobble up films and television shows about the royal family almost as soon as they come out. And yet, watching “The Crown,” my thoughts would run like this: “This is great television,” I would say after nearly every episode. “But remind me again why I should care…

(JTA) — The death of Queen Elizabeth II after 70 years on the throne is a devastating loss for Britain, the Commonwealth and the free world. It is hard to overstate the sense of grief that will be felt at her passing, including from within the Anglo-Jewish community.

The history of hate extends beyond our understanding of time and space. From Cain killing Abel to the present day, we have learned nothing about controlling the impulses to destroy that which we hate. It is a disease that festers and grows because we allow it to flourish and is nourished by …

It is crucial that the Arizona Jewish community strongly stand up to the white supremacists and antisemites that are now openly infiltrating the politics of Arizona.

My wife and I support Israel through several organizations and realize that AIPAC is an important and powerful lobbying force in support of Israel’s defense. However, while we continue to receive mailings from AIPAC we cannot bring ourselves to join that organization. We feel that AIPAC endo…

All Americans should see the recent film “Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down.” Not only is it an incredibly inspiring story of how one can persevere over adversity, but the film is a stark reminder of the impact of gun violence in America.

Honour. Favourite. Colour. Notice anything interesting about these words? If you felt that something was just a bit off, that mayhaps there was an extra letter, you would be correct. What exactly am I pointing out? The letter “u” inserted into these words gives away that I’m Canadian. Ten po…

On June 8, the State of Arizona executed Frank Atwood. Atwood, whose mother escaped Nazi persecution in Vienna, faced a perverse choice: suffer execution by lethal injection, or by hydrogen cyanide gas, a version of which was used by the Nazis to murder more than one million Jewish people at…

Antisemitic carnival-barker Mohammed El-Kurd took his routine to another level recently, and frighteningly it was in our own backyard at Arizona State University.

As Jews we are often told that the world must not be allowed to forget the Holocaust. We often say “Never Forget” as a way of emphasizing its importance for Jews and for the whole world. I certainly agree with that, but keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive isn’t enough. The problem is n…

(JTA) — In a good year, the annual conference of the Jewish Funders Network functions like a Jewish Aspen Institute: The Jewish fundraising elite, from private and family foundations that represent about $6 billion in annual philanthropy, gather to discuss the Next Big Ideas in Jewish life a…

(JTA) — As a Jew growing up in Poland, I participated in the Polish democratic opposition of the 1970s, then the pro-democracy Solidarity movement and finally the anti-Communist underground of the 1980s. I was very painfully aware that some of my fellow militants were antisemitic, and that a…

(JTA) — When IKAR, the Jewish spiritual community where I serve as the director of community organizing, realized our long-held dream of buying land in Los Angeles so that we could build a home for ourselves, we invited the community to imagine what we’d like to see included as part of this …

With the decline of organized religion over recent decades, the fall of community life at large and the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no secret that synagogues around the country have been struggling to reach the number of souls that they hope to engage.

(JTA) — Seventy-nine years ago this month, crowds twice filled Madison Square Garden for a pageant, “We Will Never Die,” meant to draw attention to the slaughter of Europe’s Jews by the Nazis. Screenwriter Ben Hecht organized the spectacle and wrote the script; German refugee composer Kurt W…

I’m sure you have noticed what I have: Engagement in Jewish life among young adults – people in their 20s and 30s – is not what it should be, and it’s not what we desire for the sake of Jewish survival and continuity.

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