Judaism

New law requires professors in Washington to accommodate religious holidays 

May 2, 2019
A new state law makes it easier for college students to take time off for religious holidays. Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5166 into law on Monday (April 29), making Washington the first state requiring that institutions of higher education provide academic accommodations to students who need them for religious observances. This includes rescheduling exams and permitting absences, as long as the student notifies the professor of the needed accommodation within the first two weeks of class. College p

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Prepackaged for Passover 

April 25, 2019
Talk about abundance! Come Passover, contemporary American Jews have no shortage of kosher-le-Pesach foodstuffs with which to fill their stomachs and sate their appetites. Their immigrant forebears, in contrast, had to make do with limited fare. Stories of deprivation, of subsisting on matzo and butter, or bananas and sour cream, once made the rounds: In my family, they were as much a part of the holiday lore as tales of the biblical Exodus. During the eight days of the festival, no one has to go hungry. K

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A Jewish-Muslim legal duo is turning heads in New York City 

April 15, 2019
In a world plagued by polarization and xenophobia, this Brooklyn judge and his law clerk rule in favor of peaceful coexistence.Judge Noach Dear, an Orthodox Jew, and his court attorney Deema Azizi, a Syrian Muslim refugee, have been turning heads at the New York Supreme Court since they began working together two years ago.“When people see Deema for the first time, they always do a double take,” he said. “With the response, ‘What a combination, an Orthodox Jew with a Syrian Muslim woman — it’s unbelieva

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Building Bridges at Passover

April 1, 2019
A new initiative called 2 for Seder has a catchy slogan: “Pushing back on anti-Semitism with love and matzah.” The premise: Invite two people who’ve never been to a Seder—non-Jews in particular—to come to yours, “with the intent of building bridges and creating understanding about our Jewish values,” in the words of its creator, Marnie Fienberg. Our texts and tradition are passionate about welcoming the stranger. “You shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt,” Leviti

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The Rabbi and his Church 

March 28, 2019
When Michael Lezak imagined what his future as a rabbi might look like, he didn’t foresee a needle exchange or free HIV and hepatitis C testing next door to his office, or naloxone being administered at least once a week in his hallway to someone who has overdosed on heroin. Nor, for that matter, did he imagine that his office would be in a church. That church is Glide Memorial United Methodist Church. Founded by pastor emeritus Cecil Williams and his wife, Janice Mirikitani, Glide is located in the Tende

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We the (faithful) People: A coalition of religious groups is pushing to redefine faith in Colorado politics 

March 11, 2019
coalition of faith groups is showing up at the state capitol every Tuesday and taking on two big tasks: Pushing legislators for policy that reflects their values and trying to redefine the political voice of the faithful in Colorado. At the launch of Faithful Tuesdays in February, prayers from a Reform rabbi and a Unitarian pastor caused the heads of those gathered to bow, and short sermon-style speeches from a Catholic priest and an African Methodist Episcopal layperson echoed around the grand halls on th

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