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Rebuilding the Jewish-Black alliance

By Bill Simons

“Go down, Moses, / Way down in Egypt land, / Tell old Pharaoh, / Let my people go.” 
Those words sung by Black slaves in the American South possess a double meaning. It recounts the Exodus narrative of Hebrew enslavement and eventual emancipation in Egypt. The spiritual …

In My Own Words: Days of hate and love

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Friday, February 24, was a particularly difficult day. A friend texted me that her grandson had had another seizure. Fortunately, he was fine after a short visit to the hospital, but his parents and grandparents are still shaken and upset. Shortly after, I learned t…

George Santos’ “Jew-ish” performative politics

By Bill Simons

In the newly elected 118th Congress, George Santos is the most famous freshman member of the U.S. House of Representatives. The 34-year-old Republican congressman has generated enormous publicity in print and electronic media. During his 2022 campaign, Santos revealed an impr…

In my own words: Judaic and ethnic studies

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Although specific groups in the United States may have always had an interest in ethnic studies, most formal programs only began to flourish during the late 1960s, particularly in colleges and universities. The Judaic Studies Department at Binghamton University bega…

In My Own Words: A guaranteed day off

By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

Remember the Blue Laws? For readers who are too young to remember, the Blue Laws meant that businesses and stores were required to be closed on Sundays. In their strictest form, many leisure activities were also forbidden and alcohol was not allowed to be served in …