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LGBTQ rally in Israel

Editor's Note: This essay was originally published on March 3, 2019. We are re-sharing it today in honor of Pride Month.

Recently, I walked into the student lounge at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Israel, went to my locker, made some tea, and began paging through my Hebrew book. I have come to appreciate my unshakable habit of arriving to campus too early, utilizing the extra minutes to calmly prepare for another day of classes.

Another student who shares this habit walked into the lounge, but rather than...

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Two smiling people holding Jewishly themed Pride Parade signs

One of the first things we learn in the Torah from the story of creation is that humans were created b’tzelem Elohim, in the holy image of God (Genesis 1:27). All of us reflect the beauty and goodness of God, and as such, we have a sacred responsibility to treat each other with the dignity, respect, and loving kindness owed to the Divine. 

It is this belief that guides the Reform Jewish community's advocacy for LGBTQ+ equality.

But there is more to be learned from that story in Genesis. God took an...

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Rainbow colored sound waves between two earbuds

Last year, did something revolutionary. Fueled by our commitment to audacious hospitality, the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and elevating voices of Jews on the margins, we launched season one of our groundbreaking podcast Wholly Jewish, which explores what we, as Jews, all have in common and – of equal importance – what makes us all unique.

Season one was hosted by April Baskin, the Union for Reform...

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Silhouette of a man kneeling against a sunset

The Hebrew language is rich with meaning and beauty. It offers us multiple layers of depth and understanding, and often the simplest and most oft-used words can elicit powerful emotional responses.

In this week’s parashah, Naso, God instructs Moses to instruct Aaron and his sons to offer the people of Israel a blessing. What follows is a 15-word 3-5-7 structure traditionally known as the Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly blessing, which is one of the oldest biblical texts in existence.

In 1979, a scroll with...

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White hands holding a sign that reads SILENCE IS BETRAYAL

George Floyd was murdered by an officer of the law whose duty was to protect him; he died crying out for his mother, begging to breathe. Ruach Elohim, the Divine Spirit, can be understood as the Breath of Life, a gift from the Creator of All Life. To deny a human being breath is idolatrous – and George Floyd’s murder comes after countless Black and Brown people have similarly been killed and countless others have suffered the brutal systems of racism in our country.

The United States simply cannot achieve the values of “justice for all" to which it aspires until we address ongoing...

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