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Side view of Notre Dame Cathedral as it stood before the April 2019 fire

In March 2012, I visited Paris in my capacity as then-president of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ). I’d just attended the European Union for Progressive Judaism’s convention in Amsterdam.

Overshadowing our Paris visit was a horrible tragedy in which four people were savagely murdered at a Jewish day school in Toulouse. We received the heartbreaking news as Rabbi Tom Cohen, of Kehilat Gesher in Paris, was showing us the magnificent Cathedral of Notre Dame. Ms. Miriam Kramer, chairman of...

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Black and silver earbuds sitting on a laptop keyboard

Still trying to unpack the results of the recent elections in Israel? Rabbi Josh Weinberg, Union for Reform Judaism vice president for Israel and Reform Zionism and executive director of ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America, recently spoke to members of Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, CA, about the election results.

He broke down the parties, the leaders, the possible coalitions, and the complexity of Israel’s recent election, encouraging questions for the...

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Women holding hands in front of a rainbow flag

Every year in the Passover Haggadah (telling), we read, “Let all who are hungry come and eat.” These words have taken on deep meaning for me as I came out of the closet, got married, and had kids of my own: Our freedom and redemption are founded on being inclusive and welcoming.

The story of the Exodus from Egypt is so axiomatic in the Jewish tradition that the ...

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Close up image of a colorful seder plate with ritual elements upon it


You won’t smell soup cooking yet or cake or kugel or tzimmes baking on the day before Passover.

There’s just the sight of empty cupboards, counters crowded with hametz, boxes of cereal, cans of beans, jars of jelly.

The oven is cleaning itself this year, but not the racks. I’ll scrub them with a Brillo pad until my arms and fingers ache and the silver gleams and the stains of the past year wash off with the soapsuds down the drain.

Before long I’ll wipe the crust of crumbs off the inside of the oven and I’ll wipe all the countertops and the table, too, and...

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Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh in a scene from The Soap Myth

Film and television stars Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh headline The Soap Myth, a play by Jeff Cohen about a cantankerous Holocaust survivor on a crusade to convince Holocaust museum curators that the Nazis manufactured soap from the corpses of murdered Jews.

Asner plays the survivor; Feldshuh plays dual roles of a scholar and a Holocaust denier. They are joined by Drama Desk Award winner Ned Eisenberg in various roles and by Liba Vaynberg, who portrays a young journalist struggling to sort out the historical truth.

I caught up with...

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