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In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court released a series of opinions that were deeply disappointing to many in the social justice community. On Monday, the court refused to strike down racial gerrymandering in Texas and sanctioned anti-competitive, domineering practices used by both Silicon Valley and Wall Street. On Tuesday, the court endorsed pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in California that provide misleading and inadequate health information. And, of course, it...

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Microphone

It is no secret that social action is a central maxim of Judaism. But as Rabbi Pesner said during a text study through the RAC's Machon Kaplan program earlier this summer, we often take for granted this deep relationship between Judaism and social action, to the point that important ideas like tikkun olam, repairing the world, become insignificant jargon.

Some, he joked, even ask him, “How do you say tikkun olam in Hebrew?”

Social action is at the very core of our tradition. I have been taught my entire life that helping others...

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The author in Israel

This summer, I have been leading the URJ Camp Harlam NFTY in Israel trip. For four weeks, I have been showing and guiding 15 and 16 year-old Americans around a country that I cherish. This is my second summer doing this job, and I am definitely not here for five-star hotels or gourmet meals. I do it because it is important to me that the kids that I am entrusted with understand the magic of this country, its complexities, and the necessity of its existence. I do the job to ensure that I can pass along what this country has given me –...

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Sign outside polling place that says: Vote Here

This post is adapted from a sermon given at Temple Sinai DC on Friday, July 20. 

I always get a little nervous when we arrive at Parashat D’varim. It is like a little calendar alert that announces: “Summer is passing! Elul is coming! The High Holy Days are just around the corner!” And here we are – this Shabbat, we begin reading the Book of Deuteronomy in our annual Torah reading cycle.

I was talking about this sermon with my sister who works...

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A group of 32 Canadian Rabbis, including many Reform clergy, have signed a petition calling upon the Canadian Government to suspend Canada’s Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States until such time that Canadians can be confident that the United States is in fact a country to which refugee claimants can be returned safely.

Arthur Bielfeld, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Emanu-El, Toronto, stated his position as a signator:

“I realize that there may be strategic reasons for the present Government of Canada to hesitate to suspend...

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