Extending The Branch: Israel’s Jews and Arabs Forge Meaningful Relationships

Yuval Ben-Ami, the son of an Israeli army spokesman, and Husam Jubran, who spent a year in a wheelchair as a teen after being shot by Israeli soldiers, are friends. The two share Israeli and Palestinian perspectives with tourists traveling Israel by tour bus. Theirs is just one of the compelling and often complicated stories that have been told by The Branch, a podcast presented by Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organi...

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One Synagogue’s Work to Break the Chains of Bondage

In a few short weeks, we will gather around seder tables with family and friends to retell our story of freedom from slavery—a story that has shaped our Jewish community, consciousness, and values for generations. However, there are still millions of people who have no such story of deliverance because slavery is unfortunately still part of their everyday reality. The International Labor Organization reports that 21 m...

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Purim and Passover’s Heroines Still Inspire

One of the greatest Jewish women in modern history, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, co-wrote a reflection with Rabbi Lauren Holzblatt of Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C. a few years back. It was about the heroic and visionary women of Passover and how their stories still inspire. “Retelling the heroic stories of Yocheved, Shifra, Puah, Miriam, and Batya reminds our daughters that with vision a...

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Insight, Intrigue, and Meaning: These Award-Winning Picks Have It All

Light readers beware. This diverse list of our 10 picks from the winners of the 69th National Jewish Book Awards is packed with insight, intrigue, and deep meaning about Jewish life. The Jewish Book Council carefully selected a wide variety of personal and historic tales that will leave you thinking about the characters long after the pages have been turned. Whichever of these 10 award-winning novels you choose, you w...

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Bringing “My Jewish Mommy Life” to Life

Marion Haberman When Marion Haberman was pregnant with her first child, like most new moms, she searched the Internet for advice. Marion learned how to choose a baby name, and how to design a nursery, but what stood out to her was there are very few Jewish mommy YouTubers. "When I was trying to plan the bris for my son when he was born, I struggled with finding information that someone other than a rabbi might tell...

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Jewish Values and Experiences Inspire Josh Warshawsky’s Music

Rabbi Josh Warshawsky With his guitar in hand and the words of Torah in his heart, recently ordained Rabbi Josh Warshawsky has been able to impact and inspire Jews around the country through the power of music. A singer, song leader, and composer, Rabbi Warshawsky travels the United States and Canada sharing original melodies with Jewish camps, schools, and synagogues. He has released three albums—all of which can...

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Questions Energize Our Pursuit of Truth

By Rabbi Perry Raphael Rank Rabbi Perry Raphael Rank is Senior Rabbi at Midway Jewish Center in Syosset, New York Way back when you were sitting in some Hebrew School classroom, one of your teachers may have told you that God wrote the Torah. Or alternatively, the teacher may have claimed that God dictated the Torah to Moses, who then wrote it down himself. You may or may not have questioned that tidbit of knowledg...

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It Takes a Community to Protect the Planet

Jewish tradition has long taught us the importance of preserving and protecting the planet. As Psalm 24 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers,” making any act that damages the earth an offense against the creation of God. In 2020, as millions of acres in Australia have burned (and are still ...

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Love at First Click

Richard and Sara celebrate their wedding in style. One year after getting engaged on Rosh Hashanah, Richard and Sara Brener celebrated their love with family and friends when they wed in Rosemont, Illinois, this past September. And while much of their Jewish wedding was traditional—from serving an all-kosher meal to doing a bedeken—the way the couple met wasn’t so much. Richard and Sara are among an estimated 70 pe...

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The Value of Teen Summer Travel…and Ways to Save

For parents of Jewish teens, instilling in their children a passion for Judaism, an expansive worldview, and the importance of Jewish friendships is often of the utmost importance. However, parents are often conflicted about the best methods -- the “how and when” of talking about or suggesting experiences that will resonate most with their teens can feel daunting.  Of course there are the consistent activitie...

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