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Closeup of a gate with a Star of David in wrought iron with a cemetery in the background

The plane landed in Tel Aviv with a thud, olive trees and soldiers lining the runway. With the 14-hour journey complete, I contemplated why we’d come to Israel in the first place: The body of my grandmother, who’d just passed away, traveled with us in the belly of the plane, ready to be transported to her final resting site in Jerusalem.

Inside the terminal, we were greeted by relatives I’d never met. My grandparents wanted to be buried in Israel rather than in random plots in New Jersey, where they’d lived their final years, because they wanted us to meet our relatives,...

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Israeli children

I am a dreamer; tradition and faith are an important part of who I am. Going to Israel was a dream I’d had for as long as I can remember. I had always planned to travel there with my grandfather, who loved Judaism with all his heart and soul. In fact, my love for Judaism and the Jewish people, as well as my thirst to obtain a Jewish education came straight from his heart to my own.

I often wonder how is it possible to have such deep loyalty to a place I have experienced only through photographs, stories, and images in my mind? How is it possible to connect to and love something I...

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American flag on a flagpole with the photo taken from below

Dear President Trump, Vice President Pence, Members of the Trump Administration and 115th Congress,

The advent of each new administration calls for the broad re-creation of our country every four to eight years. Such moments of re-creation offer an opportunity to learn from the biblical creation story itself.

Genesis 1 narrates the well-known creation myth that culminates on the sixth day with the fashioning of the first human being. An early Jewish interpretation highlights two essential aspects of this tale: “A single human being was created to teach you that anyone who...

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Side profile of a woman wearing a white top and a skirt mde of toilet paper rolls against a white background

Israeli filmmaker Nitzan Gilady’s feature film, Wedding Doll (Hatuna MeNiyar) tells the story of Hagit, a young woman with a mild intellectual disability, who lives with her mother and works at a toilet paper factory. The movie follows Hagit’s struggles for independence from her mother and of her dreams of marriage.

Wedding Doll has been screened in festivals in Israel, Europe and North America, including the ReelAbilities Film Festival, and was nominated for nine Israeli Academy Awards in 2016. ReformJudaism.org caught up with Gilady,...

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Smiling women of all ages and ethnicities wearing brightly colored clothing and standing in a line against a white brick wall

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a Presidential Proclamation recognizing one week in March as National Women’s History Week. March has historically been the time for acknowledgement of women’s issues; International Women’s Day originated in the early 1900s and is observed on March 8. In the years that followed President Carter’s Proclamation, citizens and organizations lobbied to ensure continued recognition of women’s history through a designated week.

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