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Jewish star from above made up of people, including some walking to or away from the shape

On the first day of religious school this year, I introduced myself to the class. “Hi, my name is Sasha Dominguez, I am going to be your teacher.” One of the students in my class responded, “Dominguez? That’s not a Jewish last name?” My students, like so many young Jews, are not getting any explicit education on what it means or looks like or sounds like to be Jewish in the United States today, despite the fact they are in a religious school class with two Jews of color and have a Jewish-Hispanic teacher.

Perpetuation of white-Ashkenormative Jewish culture is not only an incomplete...

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Blurry photo from below and facing upward of two men shaking hands and smiling at one another

When the #MeToo movement began in 2017 – when countless women and non-binary individuals came forward as survivors of sexual abuse and assault – the notion of “toxic masculinity” became a widespread point of discussion.

Maya Salam of The New York Times defines this term as “what can come of teaching boys that they can’t express emotion openly; that they have to be ‘tough all the time’; that anything other than that makes them ‘feminine’ or weak.”

Taking note,...

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Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise with sculptor Moses Ezekiel and the bust of Wise that Ezekiel created

Isaac Mayer Wise is widely recognized as the founder of Reform Judaism in North America. Born in Steingrub, Moravia (Czech Republic) on March 29, 1819, he arrived in the United States in 1846 and immediately went to work to create a nationally united expression of Judaism, a Minhag America, under his leadership. Criticized by traditionalists as a reformer and resisted by radical reformers as unprincipled and unrefined, Wise nevertheless relentlessly pushed forward with his dream.

Largely due to his urging, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (now the...

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Mezuzah hanging on the doorway of a blank wall

“Rabbi, I’m moving tomorrow and just wanted to ask you: Is there a proper way to take down my mezuzah?”

That was the question I was asked – but what the question doesn’t capture is the fact that this man was moving out of the home in which he grew up. It was the home that protected him during Hurricane Andrew, which took out all the homes across the street. The home where he celebrated his graduation from high school, college, and law school. The home his father had raised...

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Two gold wedding bands entwined together to form the outline of a heart; glittery lights in the background

Although there is a long journey and plenty of work ahead on the road to achieving freedom of choice in marriage in Israel, yesterday marked a step forward when Washington Hebrew Congregation in Washington, D.C., hosted a Reform Jewish wedding under the chuppah (wedding canopy) for three Israeli couples:

  • Aviad and Tsion from Beer-Sheva have been together for eight years, but because they are a same-sex couple, they cannot legally marry in Israel. Now that they are married, they will continue their journey to build a family with a...
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