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Passover celebrates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt. The word for Egypt, Mitzrayim, is derived from m'tzarim, meaning ‘narrow straits.’ This imagery carries into the present, often used to describe ‘one’s narrow place,’ w

Photo: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90 via Times of Israel.   Passover celebrates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt. The word for Egypt, Mitzrayim, is derived from m'tzarim, meaning ‘narrow straits.’ This imagery carries into the present, often used to describe ‘one’s narrow place,’ whether a physical challenge, a grapple with identity or a helpless situation. As we observe the holiday of Passover and face the world as it is right now, we must not stop seeking justice... Read More

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The theme of openness and inclusion – Audacious Hospitality at its finest – is emphasized throughout our Passover seder, from the early expression of “may all who are hungry come and eat” through the penultimate act of opening the door for the prophet Elijah.  This Passover there are many people living with fear behind closed doors:  students fearful in the wake of school shootings; DREAMers and other immigrants fearful of deportation; transgender and gender non-conforming people, fearful of harassment and discrimination....

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Aaron Torop offers the D'Var Torah at the Reform Movement March for Our Lives event

This blog post is adapted from the D'Var Torah offered by Aaron Torop at the Reform Movement's gathering in DC before the March for Our Lives. To learn more about the youth-led Reform Movement mobilization to end gun violence, visit www.NFTY.org/GVP. Photo courtesy of Hector Emanuel. 

When the Israelites were racing out of Egypt toward the Sea of Reeds, a pillar of fire accompanied them. This fire, strong and resolute, lit the way and guided the Israelites in their first, uncertain steps toward...

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Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner offers a call to prayer at the Washington National Cathedral's interfaith vigil.

Photo: Donovan Marks, courtesy of Washington National Cathedral.  

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, made the following statement about the March for Our Lives:

“Students are leading where my generation has failed. After the horror of Parkland and set against the daily reality of the gun violence in this country, the March for Our Lives is an incredible expression of leadership by a new generation. Their courage and commitment has renewed my belief that change is possible. I am proud to support the student leaders in NFTY –...

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Last July, I joined partners from throughout the faith community for a 24-hour vigil to defend the Affordable Care Act. We stood just steps away from the entrance to the Capitol, some huddling under a tree for relief from the heat of a D.C. summer. Jewish members of Congress, and later members of Congress from a variety of faith traditions, spoke to our group and offered us luck as we braved the outdoors for 24 hours to stand up for those who have benefitted from the ACA. As the sun set, the temperature dropped, and only a couple dozen remained, I was reminded of just what was at the heart...

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