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Jewish history

The author poses for a smiling photo with his elderly mother
Photo credit: Rose Eichenbaum

This is the third year in row that I’ve interviewed my mother, Adela, a Holocaust survivor, for Mother’s Day. In our 2018 and 2019 interviews, she revealed memories that she’d previously kept to herself, like the last time she saw her own mother. 

Aron Hirt-Manheimer
Screenshot of a Zoom call featuring three teenagers and one elderly man

To close out this year's observance of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Reform Jewish teen leaders spoke with Holocaust survivor Ralph Rehbock to hear his story and talk about finding hope in times of darkness. 

Kate Kaput
Hands holding a yellow fabric star like the one worn by Jewish victims of the Holocaust

Today especially
i am grateful for a life to call mine
the bright sunshine 
on a day we remember when millions died

Lucie Waldman
Closeup of the hands of an elderly woman holding a small bouquet of yellow wildflowers

In this time of COVID-19, my mother will likely spend her upcoming 100th birthday sheltering at home with her caregiver.  I asked her how this tsura (tragedy) is different from the time of Hitler.

Aron Hirt-Manheimer
Red heart balloon rising into a blue sky over treetops

I pray that this pandemic may be lifted speedily from this planet – and when it is, may we be able to look back without shame at the way we behaved and how we treated one another.

Rabbi Jack Riemer
Still from the film Just Mercy showing Michael B Jordans character comforting the character played by Jamie Foxx

I carry the trauma of my ancestors, who were kidnapped and enslaved, who survived post-abolition racist terrorism, and who survived devastating Jim Crow laws. I also carry the history of the Jewish people, who have survived countless acts of violence, forced conversion, and genocide.

Chris Harrison
Still image from the film Resistance showing Jesse Eisenberg as Marcel Marceau engaging with a group of children

We spoke with director Jonathan Jakubowicz, a Venezuelan Jew of Polish descent, to learn more about the film Resistance and his vision of hope for the Jewish people.

Chris Harrison
Blacklight image progression of a hand getting cleaner the longer it is washed with soap

Though handwashing in the medical realm is relatively modern, handwashing in the religious world is decidedly ancient.

Rabbi Alex Kress
Father and young sons reading from a prayerbook as the light Shabbat candles at a kitchen table

What are the latest demographic and societal trends in American Judaism? Professor Jonathan D. Sarna is here to tell us

Aron Hirt-Manheimer
Man in a red sweater facing away from the camera while holding the Torah above his head

We all have the right to study Torah, to interpret it, and to make ourselves heard in the never-ending Jewish conversation about what our treasured texts mean.

Rabbi Jason Bonder

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