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Jacob Kraus

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This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Naso, includes the dedication of the Tabernacle the Israelites have been building as they wander through the wilderness. Numbers Chapter 7 recounts the dedication ceremony and includes an incredibly detailed accounting of each gift given by the leader of each Israelite tribe. Every goat, bull, silver bowl and golden spoon is mentioned in the text, along with who gave it. Such a thorough description would have been important to whomever had to keep track of the items in the tabernacle, but it also reminds us of a deeper lesson: the strength of our...

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For a number of years, activists seeking to damage Israel’s legitimacy and standing in the world have mounted a campaign to boycott, divest from and sanction the Jewish state. Reform Movement fervently opposes the BDS Movement, which has been working on college campuses, in academic associations, among church groups and beyond to encourage a set of tactics and a vision for the future of the Middle East that are heavily weighted against Israel. As such, we have been encouraged by the news that two organizations have rebuffed advances made by the BDS Movement in the past two months.

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The Star of David Set in Stone

In just a couple of days, we will celebrate Shavuot, the holiday that marks our receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. This moment of revelation is one of the most pivotal and dramatic in the Torah, but it also reminds us of our shared identity with Jews all over the world.

Our tradition teaches that when the Torah was given, all Jews were standing at Sinai. Not only all of those who had just exited Egypt, but all Jews who would come into this world in the future were present. Revelation was so important that even Jews who did not yet exist had to witness it directly.

This...

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From left to right, Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch, Emily Kaplan and Kivie Kaplan

From left to right, Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch, Emily Kaplan and Kivie Kaplan

Every May, Jewish American Heritage Month offers all of us the opportunity to more deeply engage with the three and a half centuries of Jewish life in the United States. It invites us to take stock of the religious, cultural, political and social currents that have shaped and been shaped by American Jewry.

This year, thanks to our talented and committed partners at The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA), we have been able to revisit a pivotal moment both in the history of...

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Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch, Kivie Kaplan and Emily Kaplan at the RAC

Every May, Jewish American Heritage Month offers all of us the opportunity to more deeply engage with the three and a half centuries of Jewish life in the United States. It invites us to take stock of the religious, cultural, political and social currents that have shaped and been shaped by American Jewry.

This year, thanks to our talented and committed partners at The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (AJA), we have been able to revisit a pivotal moment both in the history of the Religious Action Center, and of Jews in America. The Archives contains a copy...

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