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View down the aisle of an airplane filled with travelers

Recently, I traveled from Israel to the United States for a conference. Boarding the plane, I felt a good deal of anxiety. My nerves were not related to typical concerns about turbulence, long delays, or to flying itself. Rather, I was concerned about a problem specific to Israeli flights: women being forced to switch seats to accommodate Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) men who do not wish to sit next to women to whom they are not related.

Thanks in part to the hard work of the Israel Religious Action Center, the practice of pressuring women to change...

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Young woman wearing headphones and listening to Wholly Jewish podcast

Judaism is far from monolithic. Ever since our inception as a people, we as Jews have encompassed so many different ethnicities, cultures, perspectives, and gender and sexual identities. Through all of our beautiful differences, however, we remain united as one people. Our multifaceted identities do not negate our Jewishness; rather they strengthen, exemplify and enrich it.

Commitment to embracing our differences inspired us to create Wholly Jewish, the newest podcast offering from the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ). In this podcast series, we’ll...

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Six postage stamps honoring five U.S. presidents: FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, Washington, JFK, Lincoln, and Washington

American Jewish leaders used to insist that there is no such thing as “Jewish politics” because they believed the exercise of Jewish power through group politics could lead to the accusations that they cared more about their fellow Jews than about their country. When one looks at what they did, rather than what they said, however, the story of Jews and American politics appears in a quite different light.

In 1868, for example, Jewish issues and the question of the Jewish vote stood front and center in a national campaign because the Republican candidate, Ulysses S. Grant, had,...

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A shorthaired Rabbi Lynne Landsberg speaking at a podium

Rabbi Lynne Landsberg was the first person I ever considered to be a true mentor, someone who was invested in both my personal and professional well-being and truly wanted to help me be a better activist and Reform Jew. On her first yahrzeit (anniversary of death), I can’t help but recall how she influenced my life and the legacy she left behind.

When I started my first job after college, working as an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious...

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A black and white photo of the late Al Vorspan with a pipe in his mouth looking off into the distance

Albert Vorspan, z"l, a giant for social justice, died on February 17 at the age of 95.

When Al helped organize the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in the nation’s capital, he could not have imagined that some 70 years later, he’d be viewed by many as a giant of social justice – even as a modern Hebrew prophet.

What did Al have in common with Amos or Micah or Isaiah? Like them, Al was not afraid to speak truth to power. Though he never claimed to be God’s spokesperson, Al felt commanded...

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