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Hand placing ballot in ballot box with Israeli flag in the background

Israel is a vibrant democracy whose Knesset, the Israeli parliament, is a different form of government than that found in either the United States Congress or in Canada’s parliament. Let’s explore some of these differences.

Israeli prime ministers serve up to four years, based on the strength of their coalition. If the coalition weakens, a prime minister may call for elections at any time within this cycle.

Israelis vote only for the political party they want to be represented in the Knesset. The Knesset, comprised of these 120 elected representatives, then elects a prime...

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Judy Glickman Lauders black and white photo of Auschwitz gate entrance reading ARBEIT MACHT FREI

As I sit at my desk gazing at the black and white photographs in Judy Glickman Lauder’s Beyond the Shadows: The Holocaust and the Danish Exception (Aperture, 2018), something astonishing happens. I see the subjects upon which she focuses her camera lens– an empty gas chamber, a dissection room, a cell’s graffiti-covered walls – but somehow I also see, hidden beyond the shadows, the Jews who once inhabited these places and who are no longer there.

In the book’s afterward, titled “A Personal...

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Row of protesters with signs in shadow; bright sun behind them

What prevents us from directly and regularly engaging in social justice work? So many of us want to make a difference and help to repair what is broken in our world, and yet, it can often feel overwhelming. Instead of doing anything, we feel frozen; we sit at home reading articles or watching other people’s actions posted on social media. What can push us past thought toward action?

In my experience and opinion, the tipping point for action is training. Social justice classes, seminars, groups – all the different intentional experiences that fall under the category of “trainings...

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Child in a superhero costume with one fist raised against a blue sky background

My first experience with a kiddo living in a costume was in college, when I was working as a nanny. He was 3 years old and dressed as a wolf – all the time. In the wolf costume, this little boy growled at his siblings, his peers, and me. He felt quite comfortable in this state of contrary.

His sister, who had a very different disposition, one day put on a kangaroo costume and asked her brother if he wanted to climb into her pouch. My heart melted, and I learned something really powerful: These kids used costumes to navigate their feelings. They didn’t have grown-up words to say...

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A young black man wearing a prayer shawl and a head covering while reading from a Jewish prayer book

Whenever I enter Jewish spaces, whether it’s my first time or my fiftieth, I make a conscious effort to bring one or all of the following: my kippah (head covering), my Sh’ma bracelet, and my Magen David (Star of David) necklace.

I wear these items because I love being Jewish, and physical reminders of my Judaism help me feel more at home while attending Shabbat services, festivals, etc. – but I also bring them because, as a black...

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