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Selfie of the author with her grandmother

My mom doesn’t want me to tell you this, but decluttering is not a task at which she particularly excels. She doesn’t have anything to be embarrassed about; after all, Marie Kondo wouldn’t be nearly as popular as she is if the majority of us were neat and tidy! My mom is by no means a hoarder, and her house is very clean. She just has a lot of stuff, the result of 30-plus years spent living in the same place.

But she’d like to downsize to a smaller place in the next couple of years, which means that first, she has to downsize some of said stuff. Understandably, it feels like an...

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Teen girl facing away from the camera in a shirt that reads STRONGER in front of a seated audience of other teens

I live in a very small town in west Tennessee, right in the middle of the Bible-Belt region of the United States. Growing up as the only Jewish kid for miles around definitely had its fair share of challenges. When I heard that we were going to hear a presentation on racial discrimination and religious oppression at our NFTY Southern Fall Mitzvah Corps event, I knew it was going to contain some fascinating points of view and interesting facts, but I didn't realize how much of an impact it would have on me.

From...

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A scene from the jazz opera, Dear Erich

Dear Erich: A Jazz Opera, co-produced by the New York City Opera and National Yiddish Theatre Folkbiene, premiered in January 2019 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan to standing ovations. The music is by Ted Rosenthal, the world-renowned jazz pianist and composer; he and Lesley Rosenthal wrote the libretto.

Ted Rosenthal conceived Dear Erich after learning the contents of 200 letters, written mostly by his grandmother, Herta, trapped in Nazi Germany, to his father, safe in America.

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Sign on a business reading SORRY WERE CLOSED

On January 25, 2019, the staff of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism sent a letter to Congress urging them to immediately pass legislation to fully fund the government and end the partial shutdown, while also working toward comprehensive immigration reform that treats all people with dignity and respect. Read the full text of the letter. 

Hundreds of thousands of people and their families who rely on a...

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Mother and daughter looking out at ocean; daughter's arm around mother

Can you remember what you were doing last Tuesday?

Can you recall a very early childhood memory?

Can you recite a poem that you once knew years ago?

Would you try to cover it up, if you couldn’t remember?

Would you feel embarrassed or somehow inadequate?

Would your friends and family, if they noticed, treat you differently?

Judaism places great importance on memory. Torah commands us more than 160 times to remember (zachor), and on the Shabbat of Remembrance to never forget (lo tishkach).

Never forget that we were once strangers,...

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