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Two people holding hands over mugs of coffee

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 15 years since the day that changed my life forever. On June 11, 2003, I met evil personified: I was on bus #14 in Jerusalem when an 18-year-old terrorist, strapped with explosives, boarded my bus and detonated them.

But a bomb was not enough for him. He loaded that bomb with nails and shrapnel with the singular goal of inflicting as much damage and pain as he possibly could. He killed and maimed many people that day; 17 innocent people, including all those sitting closest to me, were murdered, and more than 100 more were injured, myself...

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Woman wearing a blanket and working on a laptop computer while sitting on a couch

The Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) Introduction to Judaism online class is an engaging, comfortable, and thought-provoking experience.

My motivation for taking the course was my long-held fascination with the story of the Jewish people. Also, my Jewish partner has a strong connection to her Jewish identity and I want to share her cultural understanding, as well as share with her a common spiritual language. Conversion is a deeply personal decision, and it was helpful...

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Woman holding Torah scroll open with left hand, pointing at text with yad in right hand

Did you ever find yourself on a path, not your intended path, but it turned out okay, or maybe even better than just okay?

When I was 13, in our predominantly Jewish neighborhood only a few girls had a bat mitzvah. I attended several b’nei mitzvah of male classmates and found the services incredibly boring, probably because I was totally clueless about what was going on, but the evening parties were fun and a chance to dance and flirt with cute boys.

Like many of my generation who came of age in the 1960s, I went...

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Line drawing of some of the characters from the Avengers movie

Content warning: This article contains minor spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.

The new film Avengers: Endgame – the culmination of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe up to this point – has become a record-shattering financial and critical success in an incredibly short amount of time. It managed to tell an entertaining, fun, and action-packed story, while balancing and wrapping up the story arcs of the six original Avengers in memorable (and at times, heartbreaking)...

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A group of Heller High students, including the author's daughter in the front row all the way to the left

Just after Passover last year, my daughter, Shaina, a student at URJ Heller High at the time, returned from her home-stay with an Israeli family. Shaina described how she and the other teens stayed up late and talked about their plans after high school. The Israelis’ discussion of preparing to go into the army stood in sharp contrast to the North American teens preparing for college.

They spent hours sharing their perspectives on life; they explored their commonalities,...

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