The Letters Project: Israel Education that Meets the Moment

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We read with interest the April 19 article by Chloe E.G. Tross (TOA Graffiti Shows We Need Better Israel Education), in which Tross shares insights from her own Jewish education surrounding Israel. She found the activities enjoyable but superficial, lacking the depth and nuance she later realized she needed. “If the case for Zionism is […]

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The Passover Connection to Zionism and Campus Activism

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In Hebrew, Passover is also called the Holiday of Spring, Holiday of Matzot, and the Holiday of Freedom. Indeed, I love the arrival of spring, the food and the family gathering, but my favorite part is the message of freedom and its value for our people the Haggadah talks about. Starting from the Seder, through […]

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TOA Graffiti Shows We Need Better Israel Education

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Recently, Temple of Aaron was vandalized with anti-Zionist graffiti. What’s more, the language used suggests it could have been done by other Jews. While this is not confirmed, it brings up a needed conversation in our community: If anti-Zionism is on the rise within the Jewish community, the case for Zionism needs to be more […]

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Watching The Terror In Israel From Afar

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The first quarter of 2022 that just ended brought with it many unfortunate international developments. As I was born in Ukraine and still have close family there, I was worried about the situation in the area. While the whole world is watching Ukraine, another place where the security situation was recently escalating was Israel, giving […]

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A World Disappearing Before Our Eyes…

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This piece originally ran on the blog of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota. Like many of us, I have been heartbroken to see the news, images and footage coming out of Ukraine over the past week. Despite the foreboding news over the past weeks, I didn’t believe it […]

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The Jewish Case For Supporting Ukraine

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For much of my life, I hated Ukraine.  As the son of Soviet Jewish immigrants, I grew up with stories of antisemitism, discrimination, and the Holocaust that gave the rationale for immigration. These stories made me despise all of Europe — but my mother’s birthplace, Ukraine, along with my father’s native Belarus, were the focus […]

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Dear 2021: A Look Back & Ahead

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Dear 2021, You sure started off with a bang! Covid vaccinations have arrived! In February you decided to play a fun little game of “ how to get a vaccine appointment?” I got lucky: after only 4 hours on the computer, I was able to nab 2 appointments an hour out of the Twin Cities. […]

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Abortion Rights A Matter Of Jewish Values

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On the third day of Hanukkah, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This is one of the most consequential lawsuits in decades concerning reproductive freedom, and the first case that the Supreme Court has taken in which a state is directly calling upon the Court to overturn the […]

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Antisemitism Is Not Somebody Else’s Problem

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Synagogues, like other houses of worship, are meant to be welcoming places, where people embrace their spirituality, enjoy a sense of community and partake in age-old rituals that help define them. But someone wanted to take all that away from the congregants at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park. During the Jewish High Holidays celebration […]

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The Jewish Case for a New Department of Public Safety

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As Jews, we have inherited a tradition focused on justice. One of the central commandments in our texts is “tzedek tzedek tirdof – justice, justice you must pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20). The emphatic repetition of the word tzedek – justice – cements this commandment, this mitzvah, as a central tenet of Halakah. Time and again, the […]

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