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Rabbi Sarah Bassin

British police officers on the street

Less than a week before the May 22 attack at a concert in Manchester, England, I returned from a 10-day State Department fact-finding trip to Europe on countering violent extremism. The trip provided insights that helped me process and confront such all-too-frequent tragedies.

Here are four of the takeaways.

1. “You can’t investigate your way out of this,” says a representative of the London Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command.

Using only a criminal lens – surveillance, investigation, disruption, prosecution, etc. – limits the success of law enforcement in...

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Having chaperoned my first trip to a L’Taken seminar last year, I wanted nothing more than to bottle up the experience and take it home to Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. So this year, that’s exactly what we did.

Rather than let this extraordinary weekend in D.C. stand in isolation, our synagogue transformed it into a year-round “Teen Civic Leadership Council.”  Starting last fall, our council of 20 students met monthly – first choosing their social justice issue to focus on from the RAC’s broad agenda. We then learned with non-profit experts, engaging in strategic philanthropy,...

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The convergence of Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and the shootings in Paris and San Bernardino have caused the simmering anxieties about the integration of American Muslims to finally erupt. 

When terrorists claim that their violent acts are committed in the name of Islam, people conclude that the problem is with Islam itself. This logic is both inaccurate and dangerous. It’s inaccurate because at many points throughout history, Islam has played a liberalizing role in society, and today, the United States is home to a flourishing moderate Muslim community. It’s dangerous...

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