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Four Israeli flags

For the first time in Israel's history, a woman can apply for the position of Knesset Rabbi.

The primary job of Knesset Rabbi is supervising the kashrut of the Knesset's cafeterias and answering questions of halacha (Jewish law) as they arise. Until now, the position required a certificate of rabbinic ordination from the ultra-Orthodox Chief Rabbinate. The current rabbi is retiring in a few months, and the job was posted to find his replacement.

As always, the requirements included having received an ordination certificate from the Chief Rabbinate. Because women and...

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Group photo of Heller High students

Recently, I spent Shabbat at Kibbutz Tzuba which is nestled in the Judean Hills. Tzuba is also the home of URJ Heller High, where Reform Jewish students live and study during a semester in Israel. Established at the beginning of the state by veterans of the Palmach, the precursor to the Israel Defense Forces, Tzuba is a remarkably beautiful place that exudes the spirit of the classic kibbutz experience. 

That morning, the students experienced something extraordinary that is far...

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The author standing in front of a synagogue in Poland

As a Reform Jew growing up in suburban New York, anti-Semitism seemed as removed from my own experience as Sunday school stories of Jonah and the Whale.

No matter the lessons of “Never Again,” no matter the concentration camp films, no matter Elie Wiesel and the mandatory Holocaust education in my public school, my own experience was one of complete acceptance in American society. When these efforts would end in a pitch for my contemporary support of Israel, I couldn’t make the connection: Why do these past events, so long ago, require my action today?

Even worse, as I...

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Israeli flags

As Israel observes the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem, this moment offers us a unique point of reflection. Over the course of this year, the Jewish world will observe the 120th celebration of the birth of the Zionist Movement, the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, and the 70th observance of the U.N. Partition Plan. These interlocking events have enabled us ultimately to rewrite the modern Jewish story.

Just as the saga of Jewish nation-building evolved over the course of the last century, the Western world began to move beyond its...

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Two men, one holding a rose, shown from the neck down on their wedding day

This week's parashah, Korach, reminds us of the importance of continuing to hold leaders accountable for full inclusion, regardless of setback or success. Specifically, we read about an uprising between the Israelites and Moses.

In Numbers 16:8-9 we read, “Moses said further to Korah, ‘Hear me, sons of Levi. Is it not enough for you that the God of Israel has set you apart from the community of Israel and given you direct access, to perform the duties of the Eternal’s Tabernacle and to minister...

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