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Woman crouching on a tile floor as she plays with detained children

This Shabbat, as we prepare to march to demand justice for the immigrant families separated at our border, consider incorporating a reading of this prayer into your congregation's or community's observance.

As Jews, we know what it is like to feel unsafe in your land of birth. We know what it is like to be oppressed, to be unwanted. We have vowed “never again” and so as Hillel would say – “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, Who am I? And if not now, when?”

To those who would use...

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Two men holding hands; hands and wrists are in Pride stripes

I first knew I was queer around the age of 12 and came out sometime between the ages of 13 and 14; that was almost 20 years ago. For as long as I can remember, Pride has always sparked conflicting feelings inside me. On one hand, yes, the notion of Pride is a revelation and we should continue to celebrate the hard-won battles we’ve fought in our quest for equality.

On the other hand, I feel that what we’ve come to know as “Pride,” with its rainbow capitalism – corporations incorporating and deliberately including the LGBT+ movement for commercial gain, for example Burger King’s...

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Closeup of the hands and Converse sneakers of a teenage girl sitting on asphalt

At the Pride service my transgender daughter recently organized at our congregation as part of her bat mitzvah project, she commented how she has always felt at home at temple: “Temple is a place where I am treated just like everyone else,” she said.

As a mom, it warmed my heart to hear her say that she has always felt – and still feels – safe and accepted as her authentic self at our synagogue. Truth be told, her transition at age 6 – and that awkward period beforehand, when she went by her birth name but...

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Ingredients for Ethiopian Spiced Black Beans with Rice

America is often referred to as a “melting pot” because of the vast numbers of immigrants who came here, seeking peace, security and freedom from persecution and hunger. Foods we think of as “American” – frankfurters, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, and bagels – originated in Germany, Italy, and the shtetls (small villages) of Eastern Europe, respectively.

When it comes to food, “melting pot” is a moniker that Israel also can own. After all, Israeli salad – tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and onions – was called Arab salad before the birth of Israeli cuisine.


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Image of Yosef Kibita a young and smiling black man in a purple kippah

This month, as our partners in the US are mobilizing to fight cruel and unjust immigration policies, we at the Israel Religious Action Center are joining the struggle from Israel. We are proud to represent Yosef Kibita, a 31-year-old convert from Uganda. He is a member of the Abayudaya Jewish community, an entire community of converts to Judaism. Yosef is under threat of deportation from Israel because the Israeli government has decided not to recognize the Abayudaya community as Jewish.

The Abayudaya community has been practicing Judaism for...

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