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Aeriel view of Jerusalem skyline

One of the defining questions of Jewish peoplehood in our time is: “Who is a Jew?” Recently, members of the Israeli government have been introducing legislation that would rollback many of the basic rights we have won over the past decades. The most recent target is the the right of Reform and Conservative converts in Israel to be recognized as Jews.

Fifteen years ago, we at the Israel Religious Action Center filed a lawsuit demanding that people converted by Reform and Conservative rabbis in Israel be recognized as Jews and be granted Israeli...

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Hyrax

Four are among the tiniest on earth, yet they are the wisest of the wise… [Ants…locusts…lizards… and…] The hyrax is a folk without strength, yet it makes its home in the rock. Proverbs 31:24-28

We live on the periphery of Shorashim; our little back yard opens onto a weedy slope that adjoins the Jewish National Fund forest surrounding the community. We created a couple of terraces at the edge of the yard where we try every year to grow vegetables. The soil is not great, and since the trees have grown, the area doesn’t get full sun, so the project is daunting. In recent years our...

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Burned forest in Haifa

Over the past few weeks, more than 1,700 brush fires across Israel have destroyed homes, vehicles and countless irreplaceable personal possessions. As a nation, we have also suffered severe damage to more than 32,000 acres of precious natural resources – woodlands, grasslands and protected parklands, as well as the planted forests and the flora and ground-dwelling fauna that once thrived there.

As the smoke clears, organizations and individuals from across the country and around the world are spearheading campaigns to help hundreds of Israeli families reconstruct their homes,...

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close-up of latkes

Latkes (potato pancakes) are the quintessential culinary treat of Hanukkah. While sufganiyot (fried jelly donuts) are the Hanukkah treat of choice in Israel, here in North America, latkes reign supreme. Why do Jews stuff themselves with these fried potato pancakes every winter season?

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the victory of Judah Maccabee and his followers – the Hasmoneans – over the army of the Syrian Greek king, Antiochus IV. As the story goes, when the Jews recaptured the Temple in...

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Two little boys with flashlights reading in a blankey fort

From a new audio version of "Hanukkah Bear" — a holiday favorite by National Jewish Book Award winner Eric A. Kimmel — to a novel for young teens set during the Festival of Lights, there is a fresh crop of Hanukkah books that are sure to delight young readers of all stripes. The first Hanukkah candle is kindled this year on the evening of Dec. 24. So if you're looking to enliven and enlighten your Hanukkah — or simply just send the perfect gift to a loved little one — look no further than these six new books.

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