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Rabbi Rick Jacobs at Kotel

A week ago, we celebrated the extraordinary miracle of the modern state of Israel, 70 years young.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Golda Meir

In January 1948, Golda Meir gave a speech in Chicago that, as David Ben-Gurion later wrote, “got the money which made the Jewish state possible.”

Rabbi Steven Stark Lowenstein
Ahad Ha'am's grave in Tel Aviv

A walk in Tel Aviv’s Old Cemetery led me to the tombstone of Ahad Ha’am, one of the most influential pre-state Zionist thinkers and the founder of cultural Zionism.

Rabbi Reuven Greenvald
Sheet music

Learn about “Hatikvah,” Israel’s national anthem, which has several surprises connected to its words and music.

Cantor Marshall Portnoy and Rabbi Geri Newburge
Horse drawn cart in mid-1940s omer festival on Israeli kibbutz

In the 1940s, two Israeli pioneers created a new Jewish holiday specifically for agricultural settlers who were bringing the Jewish people back to working the land.

Rabbi Reuven Greenvald
Row of Israeli flags against background of blue sky and clouds

As religious Zionists, Israel’s Reform leaders continually reinvent an Israeli Judaism that is authentic, inclusive, and ever-adapting to our evolving religious civilization.

Rabbi Josh Weinberg
Arial view of Masada

Freedom is the frame through which Aretha Franklin’s “Think,” is remembered, just as freedom is the lens through which we see our past.


Uri M. Feinberg
Israeli flag with land in the background

A dilemma for Diaspora Jews: Identify as Jews and reconcile that identification with a Jewish State that often is perceived as the incarnate of evil.

Rabbi Stanley Ringler
Four young children, each on his/her stomach resting arms on a book

The Land of Israel is a ghost throughout the haggadah, even as it is a constant presence in the background of the Passover story. Liberation isn’t solely freedom from Egyptian bondage; it’s also intentional direction toward Sinai and the ultimate arrival in the Promised Land. Yet Eretz Yisrael itself is rarely mentioned in the haggadah text.

Rabbi Neal Gold

January 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of Louis D. Brandeis’ nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. The first Jew to serve on the court and one of the most respected and revered justices in our history, his opinions on free speech, due process, and fundamental liberty are still widely quoted and cited. His representation of poor people, exploited workers, and the public interest helped make America a more humane and just nation, while forcing banks, railroads, and other large business to be more fair to the public. In 1916, he was known throughout the nation as “The People’s Lawyer.”

Paul Finkelman, Ph.D. and Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Ph.D.


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