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Sam Rubin

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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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