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Still from the film Just Mercy showing Michael B Jordans character comforting the character played by Jamie Foxx

I recently had the opportunity to watch the film Just Mercy, based on the powerful autobiography by Black lawyer and activist Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. The film is now available for digital release (a bit earlier than originally expected), and it’s well worth the watch.

Starring Michael B. Jordan as Stevenson, the film tells the incredible story of his fight...

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Somber male doctor looking over his shoulder while wearing scrubs and a face mask

I run the Squirrel Hill Health Center, a nonprofit federally funded community health center in Pittsburgh. My organization is one of 1,400 federally funded community health organizations, which serve 29 million people across the United States. We are truly on the front lines in this quite horrific and shocking moment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many people have asked me what it feels like in the trenches. The answer? We feel very much alone.

The Squirrel Hill Health Center serves...

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Silver Star of David and hamsa charm

By now the English word “quarantine” has unfortunately spiked the usage charts across the media. From Italian, meaning “40 days,” the word is scary in an impersonal, aseptic way.

Compare it to the modern Hebrew word for the same response to an infectious disease, biddud, from the three-letter root that can means “being alone.” The word biddud perhaps carries more psychological fear of being isolated during this health crisis.

Whatever the word, we are fortunate to live in a time when connectedness can be achieved across time and space – and that’s what will get us through...

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Home office setup with a Shabbat scene displayed on screen

Our world as we knew it has abruptly changed.

It seem like just days ago that I was following my normal routine while also nervously watching reports of the coronavirus (COVID-19 c) pandemic throughout the world. Then the news hit home when I found out that my county had been declared an epicenter of the virus in my state.

Like dominoes falling, events were canceled one by one. Schools closed, as did recreation centers, libraries restaurants, and other businesses. I was saddened but not surprised to receive an email from my congregation that it too was shuttering for now....

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Still image from the film Resistance showing Jesse Eisenberg as Marcel Marceau engaging with a group of children

In his 2020 film Resistance, based on the true story of French mime Marcel Marceau and his heroic effort to save hundreds of Jewish orphans during the Holocaust, director Jonathan Jakubowicz has created a beautiful and intense testament to Jewish tenacity, spirit, humor, and most importantly, hope.

Starring Academy Award nominee Jesse Eisenberg as Marceau, the film tells a story that is especially important today given the continued number of people who downplay or disbelieve the atrocities of the Holocaust.

We spoke with Jakubowicz, a Venezuelan Jew of Polish descent, to...

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