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Little girl with curly brown hair holding matzah up close to her face as if to break it

That Passover coincides with my sons’ school break is not a coincidence; the break also encompasses Easter, and, of course, teachers and families want the time off for observances. But during those unstructured days, the struggle can feel a bit like crossing the desert – particularly for parents with young children as they try to keep everyone occupied during holiday prep.

During this busy time, I know that if I don’t have a few tricks up my sleeve, my boys will be glued to a screen 24/7. If you’re in the same...

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A hand lightly touches a mezuzah on a doorpost with black space behind the entryway

Until a few months ago, I felt safe whenever I stepped into our temple. 

But then the massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Congregation occurred, and the next Saturday when we held Shabbat morning worship services and Torah study in the library, I was asked to guard our temple’s front door.

As the service began, I stood at the open doorway to welcome...

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Black and white photo of people working the land on an early kibbutz

Mah Nishtanah! As Passover, we ask, "How is this night different than all other nights?"

Well, yesterday Israelis went to the ballot boxes, and today we know the outcome. One’s answer to this age-old Jewish question, as applied to today’s current events, is obviously connected to where you see the best hope for Israel’s future.

Because I am writing this piece before the elections, I best stick to topics that are more predictable in the calendar of Jews in Israel and around the world. As one popular Hebrew song says, “...

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Smiling young man outdoors wearing a kippah and a plaid shirt

I’ve lived a fantastic life. I come from a wonderful family, and I’ve had the opportunity to travel all around the world. I’ve danced the cobbled streets of Prague, welcomed the new year with Army buddies in London, and sat on southern porches surrounded by family and love. I’ve also had my heart broken, served in Iraq, and survived some of the most heinous kinds of childhood trauma.

People often comment that they’re amazed at who I am in the Jewish community. They’re shocked that I found Judaism despite being raised by Christians, being Black, and inheriting the memory of Jim Crow...

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Art installation of shoes along the Danube in memory of Jews killed in Budapest, Hungary, in World War II

April 7, 1944. Erev Passover. For the first time since the beginning of World War II, Hungarian Jews were forced to wear the yellow star. Until then, they’d been largely spared from the lunacy of the Final Solution. But that had changed on March 19, when Germany occupied its ally Hungary, setting the stage for the largest and most expeditious killing tirade of the Holocaust.

There will surely be many 75th anniversary commemorations of World War II in the coming months. But what happened in...

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