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When we and other members of Temple Beth El in Augusta, Maine hear about the “refugee crisis,” we don’t think about geopolitics. Instead, we think about Hamideh and her four children.

Born in Afghanistan, Hamideh fled to Iran as war engulfed her home, then made her way to a refugee camp in Turkey, and finally landed in Augusta last November. She did not speak English or know a soul in town, and she faced a long Maine winter cooped up in a small apartment. 

Hamideh and several other refugee families who arrived in Augusta in late 2016 inspired us to join with other members...

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Bears Ears National Monument

Continuing with the trend of rolling back environmental protections and regulations, President Trump signed a controversial executive order that threatens public lands designations, conservation efforts and insults the cultural and historical diversity of the United States. The order also undermines the Antiquities Act, a law passed in 1906 that gives presidents the power to designate...

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Chelsea Manning

On May 17, Chelsea Manning was released after seven years behind bars. Originally sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking confidential United States diplomatic and military information, President Obama commuted all but four months of her term. She was also free to begin fully assuming her true gender identity. Formerly known as Bradley Manning, Chelsea’s decision to begin transitioning to female in military incarceration subjected her to institutional barriers and...

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Pride Month, which occurs during June each year, is a time to lift up the voices of those who champion the LGBTQ identities, listening to their stories and working in coalition to create a world of greater equality and inclusion. During this Pride Month, we are featuring guest blogs by Reform Jews who are members of the LGBTQ communities.

The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shifra and the other Puah, saying, “When you deliver the Hebrew women, look at the birthstool: if it is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.” The midwives, fearing...

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Emanuel AME Church

Saturday, June 17 marks two years since the tragic shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The memory of the nine parishioners who were lost to this senseless act of violence continues to weigh heavily upon our hearts and remind us of the need to address the enduring issues of systemic racism, hate crimes and gun violence.

To mark this occasion, we bring you a post from June 22...

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