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Row of Israeli flags against background of blue sky and clouds

Only in Israel and nowhere else is the injunction to remember felt as a religious imperative to an entire people. -- Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi

On May 14, 1948, David Ben Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel into being. The short ceremony as Shabbat ensued changed Jewish history forever, returning Jewish sovereignty to the Land of Israel and giving the Jewish people a nation-state.

However, Ben Gurion did much more than create a Jewish state. He also seized this rare opportunity to invent a...

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Hand holding up a sign that reads Climate Action Is Our Obligation at a protest rally

Since January, there have been multiple attempts to withdraw efforts toward environmental conservation and adaptation and mitigation of climate change. Congress has used its power under the Congressional Review Act to challenge regulations adopted under the Obama administration, and recently, President Trump issued an...

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Two uniformed Israeli soldiers praying at the Western Wall

Every year, on the fourth of the Hebrew month of Iyar, Israel observes Yom HaZikaron, a day of memorial for fallen soldiers and victims of terror. Enacted into law by the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) in 1963, the holiday intentionally falls the day before Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. This year, Yom HaZikaron begins at sundown on April 30.

The progression draws a clear connection between the liberty that Israelis enjoy as citizens of a free, independent nation and the sacrifices...

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Tealights lit in honor of Yom HaShoah

Today is Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), and I have the distinct honor of observing it in Jerusalem.

From 1933 to 1945, the Nazi regime murdered 12 million people; six million of the victims were Jews. The other victims included Roma, Sinti, political prisoners, disabled individuals, and those who identified as gay and lesbian. They were all murdered simply because of their identity. The loss of life and potential is incomprehensible.

As a Black Jewish American man, I have always struggled to...

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Old gravestone with Hebrew lettering

“I knew your father, of blessed memory, in Bendin,” the elderly man informed me in the midst of a bar mitzvah party. “I was there recently,” he continued, “and saw the building next to the railroad station on Malachowska Street where the Manheimers lived before the war. Are you planning to visit Poland anytime soon?”

“Maybe I’ll go there someday,” I said, not wanting to disappoint him. I asked him for a map and he drew one on the back of his business card. It was still in my wallet, when I received an invitation several weeks later to join a Jewish press tour to Poland.

The...

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