The Making Of A Paralympic Gold Medalist

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Ian Seidenfeld is competitive. You don’t reach the Table Tennis gold medal match at the Tokyo Paralympic Games without that kind of competitive drive. But facing the defending gold medalist and current world champion who had already beaten Seidenfeld earlier in the Games, the Minnesotan was just happy to be there. “I was happy to be […]

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Minnesota Native Back In Israel After Detainment In Nigeria

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Noam Leibman and a pair of colleagues landed in Nigeria from Tel Aviv last month to shoot the pilot episode of their planned documentary series, We Were Never Lost. The first two days of shooting interviews with Igbo Jews went great, but then when a dozen masked men entered their hotel room, and took them […]

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New Documentary Shines Light On Disability Rights Advocacy

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When Allison Norlian was a little girl, she didn’t realize that her family was different. With a loving mom and a great big sister, Norlian felt lucky and surrounded by love. While that’s still true, as an adult she knows that the world doesn’t necessarily see her family the way she does. The rude awakening […]

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Murder Of Sarah Halimi A Teachable Moment On Bias

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The murder of Jewish woman Sarah Halimi in her Paris apartment four years ago became global news in May after the French judiciary declined to prosecute the man who killed her — a Muslim of Malian origin — after it was deemed he was having a psychotic episode after years of voluntarily smoking marijuana. He […]

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The Letters Project: A Space For Youth To Wrestle With Israel/Palestine

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One of the most amazing and impactful classes I’ve ever taken.” “A chance to learn from an engaging book, other Jewish teens, and rabbis in the community.” “An amazing opportunity to strengthen support for Israel by learning to critique and disagree with some of its actions.” These are just a few of the comments offered […]

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Duluth Native Nides Tabbed For Israel Ambassador Post

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Duluth-native Tom Nides has been selected to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Israel, according to several American and Israeli media reports. Nides, who graduated from the University of Minnesota, served in the Obama administration as deputy secretary of state, and the Clinton administration as the chief of staff to the U.S. Trade Representative.  JTA […]

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Israel’s Hope in the Desert

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Last week I stood in the scorching sun of the desert. I stood on the improbable grass under my feet which had a sophisticated water system, men and women working the grounds, and a splash of modern miracle. And while it might sound like this was Israel, it was rather Israel in Scottsdale, Arizona. Sports […]

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Who Are U.S. Jews? New Pew Study Takes Deep Dive

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In 2013, the Pew study “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” shocked Jewish communal leaders and prompted a mad dash to rework institutional priorities and engage more Jews. The study showed a community with record rates of intermarriage, rapid denominational disaffiliation, and a growing rejection of Judaism as a religion.  Now, the Pew Research Center is […]

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How SVARA Is Making Talmudic Learning Accessible

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My first solo outing as a new mom was to a gathering of queer Jews studying Talmud in a heimisch, if simple, room in Brooklyn. It was September 2019, back when gathering with a bunch of unmasked folks for hummus, tortilla chips, and Talmud study was a harmless activity. The gathering was part of an […]

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New Site Takes Deep-Dive Into Important Jewish Issue

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Nowadays, the easiest ways to read up on ideas circulating in the Jewish zeitgeist are to skim tweets; skim catchy headlines on op-eds; or occasionally skim the op-eds themselves.  But that experience isn’t necessarily fulfilling or educational. There’s only so much that can be said in 280 characters or in a 1,000 word limit, and […]

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