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Aron Hirt-Manheimer

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Dictionary opened to page with definition of anti-Semitism highlighted

Many years ago, a family with a Jewish surname moved to our street in Port Washington, New York, during Purim. We left a plate full of homemade hamantaschen and other holiday pastries on their doorstep, along with a note introducing ourselves. There was no response until Christmas time, when the newcomers invited us to their tree-decorating party. Somewhat apologetically, the husband confided that he was Jewish, but in name only.

Some months later, I heard a banging on my door. It was my neighbor looking grim. “What happened? “Someone spray-painted a swastika on our front door. I...

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Silhouette of a man staring up at the Milky Way night sky

In the Torah, God says to Moses, “I will send you to Pharaoh, and you shall free My people, the Israelites, from Egypt” (Exodus 3:7). Moses feels inadequate to the task and complains that he is “slow of speech and slow of tongue,” but in the end, he overcomes his fears and accomplishes the task God chose him to do.

Moses’ divine mission was preordained. For most of us, however, discovering our higher purpose in life may require a leap of faith. 

To complicate matters, according to the great Jewish mystic Rabbi Isaac Luria of Safed (1534-1572), it is the divine mission of...

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Headshot of a smiling Marques Hollie against a black backdrop

Marques Hollie, 32, has created a Passover performance piece called “Go Down Moshe” at the intersection of what he describes as “the shared otherness of American Jews and people of color.” I recently caught up with Marques to hear more about this project and his Jewish journey.

ReformJudaism.org: What was your earliest experience with religion?

Marques Hollie: I was raised primarily in Bellevue, NE, which is not exactly teeming with diversity. We didn’t talk about religion in our home, but my parents considered going to a Black church. When I came out as both queer and...

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Islamic crest and Star of David signs held next to one another against a blue background

Rabbi Sarah Bassin and Imam Abdullah Antepli recently joined podcast host Krista Tippett for a live recording of her award-winning podcast On Being. The episode was recorded in front of an audience at the Union for Reform Judaism’s General Assembly in Boston in December 2017.

Rabbi Bassin is the associate rabbi of Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. She served as the first executive director of NewGround, a Muslim-Jewish Partnership for change, an organization started in Los Angeles by young Jews and Muslims, and serves on its board.  

Imam Antepli serves as the chief...

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Closeup of a map of Europe with a red pushpin on the country of Poland

Poland’s nationalist president, Andrzej Duda, recently signed a bill making it a crime to assert that Poles were complicit in war crimes during the Holocaust. This is the latest flashpoint in a political debate that has been simmering in post-Communist Poland since revelations about the Jedwabne [pronounced Yed-wab-neh] pogrom appeared in the book Neighbors (2001) by Jan Tomasz Gross.

On July 10, 1941, some 40 townsmen locked more than 300 of their Jewish neighbors – men, women, and children – into a barn and burned them alive as German occupiers looked on approvingly.

In a...

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