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Rosh HaShanah table scene with shofar and pomegranate

Although time often seems to pass by at lightning speed, we are still in the middle of summer, so I hope you’re relaxing, getting some (but not too much) sun, having fun with family and friends, and eating your fill of ice cream – which can make any day feel like a vacation! (My family and I know this statement is true because we ate it every day during our visit to Cape Cod earlier this season.)

This year, as always, the High Holidays will arrive right on time – on the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. On the Gregorian calendar, though, we consider them “late,” since...

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Sci-Tech campers and staff showing support for the LGBTQIA+ community

At Reform community summer camps, we instill in campers the importance of kavod (respect). They learn that in our community, it is essential that we show respect to others so that we are inclusive of all people and everyone feels they can be themselves without fear of judgment.

As returning counselors at the Union for Reform Judaism’s URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech, we know this to be true. One of us, having felt so respected and able to be themselves without fear of judgment from peers last year, was comfortable enough to come out as nonbinary...

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Heavy link chain in shadow across the sky; last link is broken and three birds fly free, away from the chain

Perhaps Nat King Cole was wrong. Perhaps there never really were “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer….days of soda and pretzels and beer.” The summer of 1969, for example, was far from lazy, though at times it was indeed hazy and crazy. Neil Armstrong. Woodstock. Charles Manson. Chappaquiddick.

Despite what we want to believe, ha-olam k’minhago holech, the world keeps moving forward with little regard for human conventions such as calendars. Instead of quietly going on a vacation, Israel Education Minister Rafi Peretz recently embraced conversion therapy as a reasonable means of “...

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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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