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Women holding hands in front of a rainbow flag

Every year in the Passover Haggadah (telling), we read, “Let all who are hungry come and eat.” These words have taken on deep meaning for me as I came out of the closet, got married, and had kids of my own: Our freedom and redemption are founded on being inclusive and welcoming.

The story of the Exodus from Egypt is so axiomatic in the Jewish tradition that the ...

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Close up image of a colorful seder plate with ritual elements upon it


You won’t smell soup cooking yet or cake or kugel or tzimmes baking on the day before Passover.

There’s just the sight of empty cupboards, counters crowded with hametz, boxes of cereal, cans of beans, jars of jelly.

The oven is cleaning itself this year, but not the racks. I’ll scrub them with a Brillo pad until my arms and fingers ache and the silver gleams and the stains of the past year wash off with the soapsuds down the drain.

Before long I’ll wipe the crust of crumbs off the inside of the oven and I’ll wipe all the countertops and the table, too, and...

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Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh in a scene from The Soap Myth

Film and television stars Ed Asner and Tovah Feldshuh headline The Soap Myth, a play by Jeff Cohen about a cantankerous Holocaust survivor on a crusade to convince Holocaust museum curators that the Nazis manufactured soap from the corpses of murdered Jews.

Asner plays the survivor; Feldshuh plays dual roles of a scholar and a Holocaust denier. They are joined by Drama Desk Award winner Ned Eisenberg in various roles and by Liba Vaynberg, who portrays a young journalist struggling to sort out the historical truth.

I caught up with...

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Little girl with curly brown hair holding matzah up close to her face as if to break it

That Passover coincides with my sons’ school break is not a coincidence; the break also encompasses Easter, and, of course, teachers and families want the time off for observances. But during those unstructured days, the struggle can feel a bit like crossing the desert – particularly for parents with young children as they try to keep everyone occupied during holiday prep.

During this busy time, I know that if I don’t have a few tricks up my sleeve, my boys will be glued to a screen 24/7. If you’re in the same...

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A hand lightly touches a mezuzah on a doorpost with black space behind the entryway

Until a few months ago, I felt safe whenever I stepped into our temple. 

But then the massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Congregation occurred, and the next Saturday when we held Shabbat morning worship services and Torah study in the library, I was asked to guard our temple’s front door.

As the service began, I stood at the open doorway to welcome...

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