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Canadian flag on flagpole with bright blue sky in the background

On July 1, 1867, the Dominion of Canada came into being by an act of the British Parliament assented to by Queen Victoria. In 1871, the first Canadian census recorded 1,115 Jews in the country. Today, Canada’s Jewish population is approximately 372,000, mostly concentrated in Toronto and Montreal, with communities in Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton, and many other cities as well. The Canadian Council for Reform Judaism (CCRJ) and the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) Canada Steering Committee...

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Stained glass window that includes a Jewish start in the middle

As I was growing up in one of Chicago’s northernmost neighborhoods, West Rogers Park, most everyone was Jewish. Nearby Devon Avenue had numerous delicatessens; as you walked along the avenue, many of its shops had Jewish proprietors. On Jewish holidays, our elementary school was closed – most students were Jewish as were the teachers and staff. We were members of a Conservative temple, and in addition to attending services there, I also remember going to shul (Yiddish for synagogue) with my grandparents who lived within a couple of miles.

Moving north to suburban Wilmette as I...

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Statue of justice, blindfolded with scale, in front of shelves of books

The United States Constitution is kept within an atomic bomb-proof vault in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Our nation’s foundational document therefore (hopefully) is well protected from any who would seek to do it physical harm. There are constant battles about how best to understand the original intent of the Constitution’s authors, and battles rage on as well about how to find ways to expand the Constitution’s protections in a world vastly different from June 21, 1788, when it was formally adopted.  But that vault bears profound testimony to the role the Constitution plays in...

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Pickles in an Ontario Fruit container

When it comes to pickles, there are many connections to our culture from historical through biblical references.

In the summer of 2018, campers at URJ Camp George, a Reform Jewish summer camp in Parry Sound, ON, had the privilege of welcoming Avram Mandell from Tzedek America to camp (thanks to a partnership with Foundation for Jewish Camp). Avram shared his extensive pickle knowledge and led groups of campers and staff in making...

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Protesters outside the Homestead detention center in Florida

In the Book of Jeremiah we read: “A cry is heard in Ramah — Wailing, bitter weeping. Rachel weeping for her children. She refuses to be comforted for her children, for they are no longer.”

God – I pray that we can love the child of the widow, of the orphan, of the stranger more than we love our walls.

These United States of America were supposed to have been built on an idea of freedom and an attitude of abundance. We’ve become small and afraid, seeing scarcity everywhere we turn. But love is an abundant resource. Justice is an abundant resource. Love never runs out....

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