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Cheese burekas on a white plate with a blue tablecloth underneath

I adore the age in which we live! Yes, I know, the world is a mess, no one agrees about government, and the weather is bizarre. Nonetheless, we have the internet and that means access to endless recipes – except the one for Grandma’s mushroom barley soup with flanken, which she didn’t write down before she died many years ago.

Recently, during one of my recipe-search binges, I came across this list of 25 Classic Jewish Foods Everyone Should Learn to Cook. Always on the lookout for new dishes, I’ve decided to try...

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Clock just before midnight on New Year's Eve, surrounded by gold sparkles

Perhaps more than any time in history, American Jews are free to define our own Jewish identity and how we choose to express it in words, action, or inaction. But for many of us, freedom of choice doesn’t make being Jewish any easier; in fact, individual autonomy can make it more challenging to articulate. When was the last time you tried to explain to someone – another Jew or someone of another faith – what it means to be a Jew on the eve of 2019? 

Robert H. Mnookin, a Harvard law professor and conflict resolution expert, takes up this challenge in ...

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Shiny 2018 against a black background

As we prepare to ring in 2019, we look back on the year we leave behind, and… whew, what a year. Below are the top 10 Reform Jewish moments of the year, both positive and negative.

Do you agree with our choices? What would you add? Leave us a comment and let us know – and may 2019 bring many more positive headlines within the Reform Jewish world and beyond. Happy New Year, friends.

1. Jews worldwide mourned together after the Pittsburgh shootings.

On Saturday, October 27, 2018, during Shabbat morning study, a gunman opened fire in Tree of Life Synagogue, a Conservative...

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Hospital visitor clasping the hand of hospital patient in bed

The mitzvah (commandment) of bikur cholim, visiting the sick, is said to have originated with the Holy One of Blessing. When God visits Abraham by the oaks of Mamre in the heat of the day, it’s understood to mean not just the literal heat of afternoon, but also the internal heat of fever. God visits Abraham as Abraham is recovering from his circumcision. In visiting the sick, we emulate God.

Another teaching, this one from the Gemara, holds that the Shechinah – the immanent indwelling divine Presence – hovers over the head of the sickbed like a mother bird protecting her young. God...

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The author (wearing tefillin) and a student with a Sephardic Torah scroll

Rabbi Reuven Greenvald is the Union for Reform Judaism’s director of Israel engagement. He led similar efforts to promote deeper understandings of Jewish peoplehood and stronger ties between Jews in North America and in Israel at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in partnership with the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), and earlier at Makom at the Jewish Agency for Israel.

He received his M.A. and rabbinical...

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