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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The Jewish Case For Rent Stabilization

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When I go to rallies and marches for progressive social change, I often hear the phrase chanted “Housing is a human right!” and I wonder to myself – what does that even mean? I’ve recently concluded more than four and a half years as the Housing Organizer at Jewish Community Action. In that time organizing […]

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20 Years Later

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This Sept. 11 marked 20 years since the largest terror attack on U.S. soil, and while the horrific sights of planes crashing into the World Trade Center is vivid for many adults, today’s youth represent a new generation that cannot recall the atmosphere of a nation coming together after experiencing major trauma. For the Israelis […]

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Choosing Courage

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Kol haolam kulo gesher tzar meod. V’haikar lo lifached klal. The whole world is a very narrow bridge. The main thing is not to fear. Sung in summer camp or at youth group retreats, these words of Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav are well known. But let me point out something not so obvious. The lyrics […]

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