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B'nei mitzvah students at Leo Baeck Education Center, Haifa

On a recent visit to the Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa, I was reminded yet again about how the vibrant Israeli Progressive Jewish community is the proverbial jewel in the crown of the Jewish state. If newspapers or other media outlets are your primary source of information about Israel, it’s easy to miss the extraordinary work of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) in general, and the Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa in particular.

Benjy Maor, Leo Baeck’s dynamic...

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Hand of a black man against the window of a train with countryside outside

According to the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, “Minorities are less likely to receive diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness, have less access to mental health services and often receive a poorer quality of mental health care.” Their statistics also show that more than 70 percent of black adolescents who have experienced a major depressive episode haven’t received treatment.

In many of these cases the...

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Interfaith leaders holding hands and marching for immigrant justice

My name is Rabbi Rick Jacobs, and I lead the Reform Jewish Movement here in North America; more than two million strong, it’s the largest and most diverse Jewish denomination on the continent. I’m joined here by Rabbi Ron Segal, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), our rabbinic arm, which numbers more than 2,000, and by dozens of rabbis, cantors, and lay leaders.

I’m here in El Paso this weekend because I worship a God who is impatient with injustice, a God who demands that migrants must not be wronged. But our...

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Corner of a building and a flight of stairs along a tree-lined alleyway in Jerusalem's Old City

Julia Knobloch captures the essence of the “wandering Jew” in her powerful collection of poems, Do Not Return (Broadstone Books, 2019). Each poem evokes intimate memories of people and places she has known personally or encountered through her identification with the collective Jewish experience.

In her verses, filled with pathos and longing, time and space are collapsed, transcended. Her ancestors and influencers are ever present – Batya, who drew Moses from the river; Grandmother Hanna grinding poppy seeds in prewar...

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A man facing away from the camera holding a megaphone and wearing a shirt that reads DO JUSTICE LOVE MERCY WALK PROUDLY

At the close of this Shabbat, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, will head to El Paso, TX, with his wife and children, where they will participate in a faith-based immigration rights protest at the border.

At this event, organized by Repairers of the Breach, they’ll join hundreds of faith leaders in speaking out against the U.S. government’s unprecedented increase in cruel and inhumane attacks on refugees,...

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