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Black and white photo of Rabbi Henry Cohen

In Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History, author Erik Larson describes the end of Shabbat services at Congregation B'nai Israel in Galveston, TX on September 8, 1900:

Rabbi Henry Cohen said his last goodbyes to the members of his congregation and headed home, on foot…. Most days he rode his bicycle – a new “Cleveland” model – but never on the Sabbath. When he turned the corner onto Broadway, he stopped, startled by what he saw, half expecting...

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Book glowing as letters fly off the page

Friday is National Tell-a-Story Day in the United States, and you know who loves telling a good story? The Jewish people! So much of what our rabbis, cantors, and educators do can be described as storytelling, from sharing divrei Torah (literally, “words of Torah”) about the weekly Torah portions to teaching Midrash (story-based commentary about Torah and Jewish values).

A year ago, we celebrated National Tell-a-Story Day by announcing the launch of our new podcast,...

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Large VOTE sign hanging on a chain link fence with an arrow pointing toward polling place

Despite growing up in a Jewish household, it was not until high school that my Judaism really shaped my life’s path. In tenth grade, after continuing my Jewish education past my bar mitzvah, my local synagogue, Temple Avodat Shalom, pushed me to go on the Religious Action Center’s L’Taken Social Justice Seminar trip to Washington, D.C.

The trip sounded great. I would learn about Jewish values, lobby congress members, and (most importantly to me at the time) hang out with friends...

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Scientist wearing gloves, a mask, and protective glasses examining a computer chip

On my most recent visit to Israel – in preparation for this summer’s URJ Sci-Tech Israel program – I noticed the presence of U.S. companies. Throughout Israel’s “Silicon Wadi,” the counterpart to our Silicon Valley, are research and development facilities for Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and others, intermixed with a vast array of Israeli start-ups, including Mobile-Eye, Orcam, StoreDot, and others.

The foundations for many of these research collaborations were establish during Israel’s third decade from the late...

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US passport lying on a map of the world

In a world that is increasingly more global and interconnected, the value and importance of a global progressive Jewish movement is more important than ever. The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) is the international umbrella organization for Reform, progressive, liberal, and Reconstructionist communities around the world, spanning 50 countries, and representing nearly two million individuals.

Our mission is to ensure that wherever Jews choose to live, there should be a vibrant and meaningful non-orthodox option. As our world changes, Jews...

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