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Aron Hirt-Manheimer

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Mans shoes standing in front of arrows pointing three ways

How can ordinary people get reliable information about the pandemic in order to assess their risk and make informed decisions?

We sat down (remotely) with Baruch Fischhoff, a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University and a noted expert in risk assessment. Professor Fischhoff earned his Ph.D in Psychology from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he studied with Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.  He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine. 

Professor Fischhoff shares...

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Headshot of Rabbi Carole Balin smiling at the camera against a blurred orange and red background

Rabbi Carole B. Balin, Ph.D. is the first woman to earn tenure at her alma mater, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s New York rabbinical school, where she is professor emerita of History. Rabbi Balin is the chair of the board of the Jewish Women's Archive and lectures and publishes widely on gender and the Jewish experience, including the volume she co-edited, Sisterhood: A Centennial of Women of Reform Judaism.

To honor the uncounted women in the Book of Numbers and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the U.S. this year, she has crafted an “...

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The author poses for a smiling photo with his elderly mother

This is the third year in row that I’ve interviewed my mother, Adela, a Holocaust survivor, for Mother’s Day. In our 2018 and 2019 interviews, she revealed memories that she’d previously kept to herself, like the last time she saw her own mother. Knowing little about my martyred maternal grandmother, I decided there was no better time to ask.

ReformJudaism.org: What memories do you have of your mother, Leah?

I remember my mother always being busy with housework, especially around Shabbat, when my father brought home strangers he had met at the shul to enjoy a hot meal and a...

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Close up of the hands of an elderly man clutching the top of a cane

April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate everyone who loves to write,  read, or listen to poems of every kind. The late Reform Jewish leader Albert Vorspan, z”l, who we remember first and foremost as a champion of social justice, took up poetry while living at Woodland Pond, a continuing care retirement community in upstate New York.  

Although I knew Al, my friend and mentor at the Union for Reform Judaism, for more than 40 years, I was not aware of his pivot to poetry until his family sent me a copy of his posthumously published book, Dying at 95 is the Least of my...

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Closeup of the hands of an elderly woman holding a small bouquet of yellow wildflowers

Growing up as the child of two Holocaust survivors, I was always acutely aware of the imperative to stay healthy. In the concentration camps, contracting a disease was tantamount to a death sentence. In my home, a cold was anything but common; a cough would set off alarm bells. I trained myself not to cough in the presence of my parents.

The fear of illness was a constant in my early years because my father had been afflicted with a deadly disease shortly after his liberation from the Mauthausen concentration camp. Tuberculosis was so dreaded in my family that I was forbidden even...

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