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Emily Schwartz is an intern at the Religious Action Center and a senior at The George Washington University. Picture this: giant solar panels powering skyscrapers, dirty coal plants shaping up or shutting down, less traffic on the roads, rooftop gardens filled with trees and flowers as far as the eye can see. Sound like a dream?

It is. This is my dream and the dream of millions of people like me who want to see real change in order to preserve a sustainable future. Now, thanks to the hard work of scientists, politicians and environmentalists, this dream is in reach. Late last week...

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As regular readers of this blog may have noticed through my comments on other people's posts, I've recently returned from a river cruise through Ukraine -- fortunately arriving home before the Georgian crisis erupted -- and want to share some thoughts in three general areas:

  1. Differences between Jewish and secular travel
  2. The changes that appear to have taken place in Ukraine since my prior trip in 2001
  3. Ukrainian roots for American Jews

Differences between Jewish and secular travelOur trip was organized by Alumni Holidays International, and sponsoredby...

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A few months ago, during an informal visit in my apartment from my parents, my sister and my nephew Ian, I was stretched out on the living room floor and Ian, as five-year-olds are want to do, was walking on my back and climbing all over me. When his weight hit a spot that made my back crack, I groaned, "Oh, Ian, just call me your personal Uncle Irv," before squirming out from under all 40-something pounds of him. "Like mother, like son...like aunt, like nephew," I thought.

I remember how my sister and I used to climb all over our beloved Uncle Irv for piggy back rides and how, as...

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My daughter graduated from high school Saturday. The weather changed from cold and rainy to a sunny 80 degree day. The plague of cicadas awaited for 17 years and due to arrive by now were yet to emerge from the ground. I arrived early and got a front row seat knowing that I could not miss seeing my beloved child on this special day. It was Shabbat and all was right. The ceremony began with a chorus of beautiful voices of young men and women and by the second song all eyes turned to the heavens. From a very high set of lights that illuminate the field at night there was a nest with two...

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My congregation, established in 1956, is only a few months older than I am. My paternal grandparents were among the founding families, and my parents joined immediately upon moving back to Milwaukee shortly before my birth. I joined to raise my children here.

Much has changed since the days of my youth. Gone is the formal Friday evening service led by the black-robed rabbi and hidden quartet. Gone is the original ark, whose fabric curtain was donated by my grandparents. Gone, too, are most of the founding generation, but...

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