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The top Jewish stories of 2020

By A. James Rudin — December 30, 2020

(RNS) — As for all the world, COVID-19 dominated Jewish life in 2020, but not all the news in the Jewish world was about the virus — and even some events driven by the pandemic were not without a silver lining.

Faith leaders and religion influencers who died in 2020

By Adelle M. Banks — December 29, 2020

(RNS) — Losses in the religion world included people known for their contributions to preaching, civil rights or music.

Our best religion stories from a terrible year

By RNS staff — December 28, 2020

(RNS) — The RNS stories that captured moments of resilience and perseverance, and even a few moments of celebration, in this dark time.

Jewish health system accused of vaccine violations is a case of solidarity gone wrong

By Brad Hirschfield — December 28, 2020

(RNS) — The real moral hazard they’ve fallen into is building a faith identity or communal solidarity on otherness, victimhood or grievance.

5 nurses share their pandemic holiday plans —  and their hopes people take the virus seriously

By Lyra Walsh Fuchs — December 24, 2020

(RNS) — ‘It pains me because I think when this all dies down and we get back to Mass, there will be a lot of empty pews,’ said one nurse, who has worked at a hard-hit nursing home throughout the pandemic.

The most intriguing books on religion we read this year

By RNS staff — December 23, 2020

(RNS) — Our reading list this year, like the rest of our lives, was colored by the triple whammy of 2020: the pandemic, the racial justice protests and the presidential election.

How alliances between Black and Jewish voters are reshaping one New York district

By Lyra Walsh Fuchs — December 22, 2020

NEW YORK (RNS) — Eliot Engel’s unlikely defeat by progressive insurgent Jamaal Bowman signaled shifts within an electorate that straddles wide income divides in the Bronx and southern Westchester and is 30% Black and 20% Jewish.

Pandemic cooking and Jewish food rituals offer comfort in times of sickness

By Hanna Tervanotko, Katharine Fitzgerald — December 21, 2020

(The Conversation) — Food preparation makes the intangible aspects of culture and religion tangible.

Does anyone ‘own’ the Holocaust? An Orlando controversy inflames the issue

By Mark I. Pinsky — December 21, 2020

ORLANDO (RNS) — A Holocaust memorial center in Florida sparks controversy for an exhibit on modern racism, with many saying it diminishes the reality of anti-Semitism and the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Biden DHS nominee has ‘refreshing’ meeting with faith groups about immigration, refugees

By Jack Jenkins, Emily McFarlan Miller — December 18, 2020

(RNS) — One attendee described the meeting as ‘a 180 degree change from what we’ve been enduring for the last four years.’

‘Lo, a virgin shall conceive’ … or not, depending on the translation

By Jana Riess — December 17, 2020

(RNS) — Had Isaiah wanted to say ‘virgin’ or predict a miraculous birth, he would have used different Hebrew words, say biblical scholars Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler.

In ‘Can Robots Be Jewish?’ rabbis weigh in on a Jewish pastime: disagreement

By Yonat Shimron — December 16, 2020

(RNS) — The questions in this collection, part of Moment Magazine’s long-running feature ‘Ask the Rabbis,’ offer a model for what is fundamental to Judaism.

Four facts that will change relations between Christians and Jews in the next decade

By A. James Rudin — December 15, 2020

(RNS) — As relations between Christians and Jews have changed and will change, we must change, too.

That’s Dr. Biden to you!

By Jeffrey Salkin — December 15, 2020

(RNS) — You call a professional what that person wants to be called. End of discussion.

With vaccines on the horizon, faith leaders could play a crucial role in promoting their use

By Jack Jenkins — December 10, 2020

(RNS) — Asked about his participation in the Moderna vaccine trial, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld replied, ‘It’s the most important sermon I’ve ever given — by far.’

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