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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...

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Row of mailboxes

We used to be specific about who we applied the word hero to. Our doctors, and firefighting professionals Our activists, and soldiers Our law enforcement professionals and the occasional politician who stuck to their morals.

We sometimes confabulate the words hero and fame We’re in awe of our rock stars and movie stars Certain authors get the royal treatment and in some communities just being the person who tells you the weather will get you a better seat at dinner.

We never considered the grocery store shelf stocker the checkout person, the mail carrier the one who brings...

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Red paper heart against an orange background with a white line through it like an echo cardiogram

As the anesthesia mask came down, just a few months after my 30th birthday, I said goodbye to my old body. An ultrasound, family history, and medical uncertainty forced my hand; "It might be cancer," my doctor worried. Two hours later, I woke up in an aching, unfamiliar body. All of which, perhaps, would have been unremarkable if the world, too, hadn’t become so unfamiliar itself.

Two weeks earlier, as COVID-19 first caught the wind and jumped oceans, I ricocheted between my responsibilities as a Hillel rabbi at UCLA and officiating...

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Group of smiling American and Cuban Reform Jews gathered together in Cuba before the pandemic began

When I returned from my sixth Jewish humanitarian mission to the island of Cuba at the beginning of February, little did I know that the entire world would be in quarantine only a month later. It now feels like a miracle that we were all able to be together.

I first visited the country in 2005 and wrote about my fifth visit in 2019. In the 15 years since I began visiting the island, I’ve witnessed incredible growth within the community, as well as the continued struggle and survival of...

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A still photo from the documentary depicting synagogue pews with yellow police tape across them and a stained window in the back

Hatred of Jews and Judaism is the world’s oldest social pathology, and Andrew Goldberg’s PBS-TV documentary Viral: Anti-Semitism in Four Mutations (airing in the U.S. on May 26) presents important new insights into this omnipresent odium.

For Goldberg, whose parents were members of Chicago’s Emanuel Congregation, this will be his fourteenth documentary, and as he told me, this one is intensely personal.  During the three years required to complete the 90-minute...

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