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Thursday, April 29th, we had the honor of visiting the Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona along with six Arizona Jews for Justice volunteers.

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This past week on Lag B’Omer a terrible tragedy struck in Meron in the midst of what ought to have been joyous celebrations. The phenomenon of simcha turning into sorrow is, unfortunately, not as rare as it should be in Israel. That is because for all of Israel’s advances in science, especia…

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Israel’s largest religious festival turned into its largest peacetime tragedy late last week, as 45 celebrants were crushed to death, and dozens more were injured, under the feet of fellow worshippers in a horrific stampede at Mount Meron.

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On April 20, Jewish News published “IHRA amendment threatens to stall Arizona Holocaust education bill,” which clearly explains the current situation regarding House Bill 2241. That bill would require all Arizona schools to teach about the Holocaust and other genocides at least twice between…

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On Dec. 11, 2008, one of the worst events to rock the organized Jewish world was revealed on the front pages of the nation’s newspapers. Few outside of the financial world had ever heard of him before that day. But when news broke that Bernard Madoff’s Wall Street investment firm was a Ponzi…

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Ian and Alexa Sachs with their new twin son and daughter and dog.

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To speak about infertility is taboo. It always has been and probably always will be. This is why we are sharing our experience.

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Israel is the world leader in the vaccination of its citizens against COVID-19. As a result of its successful vaccination campaign—through which some 60% of its population has gotten both jabs so far—it has dramatically cut mortality and morbidity rates.

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These have been stressful times, and now that we’re on the much-anticipated road back to normalcy, children need to be encouraged to recognize and even solve the problems they might encounter. Their inclusion in that process will improve the likelihood of a successful outcome.

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The first vaccine I received was in early January at a drive-thru vaccination center at Banner Del E Webb Medical Center in Sun City. Because I am a hospice rabbi for Madrona Hospice & Palliative Care, I was lucky to receive it early.

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This past year has been one of hardship, suffering and death for many people across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic did not discriminate along racial or religious lines or issues of personal background. Having faced the same danger together, hopefully we have achieved a new sense of respect…

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The White House Passover seder was hosted by America’s Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff. The Brooklyn, New York-born lawyer is the first Jew to be a spouse of a vice president, as well as the first male to occupy the role. Being a Jew in such an important place in American society is not quite a…

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In 2011, on one of my first trips to the United Arab Emirates, I sat in on a class taught by then-New York University president John Sexton on law and religion at NYU Abu Dhabi. It was a thrill to watch this legendary law professor take 20 Emirati students through a Talmudic reading of the E…

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Modern Greece is marking its bicentennial, celebrating the nation’s emergence from 400 years of rule under the Ottoman Empire. While ancient Greek culture pioneered democracy, philosophy, geometry and more, modern Greece kick-started a more recent seismic shift: normalization with the State …

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From boyhood into adulthood, I was never fond of museums. Whether it was a grammar-school trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan or, as a young adult, the Louvre in Paris, I found the endless maze of rooms and paintings a tiresome bore. But I dutifully went along, whether becaus…

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Learning to nurture curiosity is the quest of our times. How do we nurture in our children and in ourselves curiosity, not cynicism? Fascination not apathy? How do we raise a generation of curious kids? In a fast-changing world, as technology shifts the way we live, learn, work and play — an…

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Next week I will make brisket and charoset and set the table with fine china. But this Passover will be very different than any other. It will mark the first that my mom, Thelma Kurzweil, will not be at my seder.

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As an educational organization supporting Israel and combating anti-Semitism, StandWithUs has always understood the importance of engaging audiences and individuals with meaningful and accurate information to effect positive change. Stories like that of Adam Elayan — a young man who once emb…

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When I was a teenager six to nine years ago, I tweeted horrible anti-Semitic statements. I made generalizations about Jewish people; I promoted stereotypes about Jews; and I blamed Jewish people for bad things in my life.

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Reactions to this week’s Israeli Supreme Court ruling about recognizing the validity of conversions to Judaism by non-Orthodox denominations are all out of proportion to its actual significance in terms of the number of those affected by the decision. Representatives of both Reform and Conse…

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Many of us have read the story of Noah and the Flood. In Genesis Chapter 8, we read that there was a flood, Noah built an ark, Noah took the animals two by two alongside his family into the ark and then there was a flood that decimated the city. While this series of events unfolds, seldom do…

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It was a year ago that everyone’s lives changed. It was on the eve of Purim that the first lockdowns were declared in some parts of the United States. Up until the weeks before the festival, the coronavirus pandemic was more of a theoretical threat than anything else to most people. It was e…

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During my visits to coronavirus wards at hospitals across Israel, I encountered a most worrying statistic. All of the hospitalized were relatively young people who had not been vaccinated. A few minutes after one such visit, I learned that a childhood friend of mine, a healthy individual wit…

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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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