Doing Good on Yom HaShoah

Today was Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. As a Jewish commemoration, it ends in the evening at sundown rather than at midnight. It is a time to reflect and remember, and a chance to refocus our energy on preventing similar atrocities. Unfortunately, the latter half of the 20th century tells a different story than … Continue reading

Easter and Passover Treats

This year Easter and Passover fall on the same weekend, and families everywhere will be buying their kids chocolate bunnies and making flourless cakes with cocoa powder. In both cases, I hope you’ll consider using chocolate that you know is slave-free. For Christians, tomorrow is Good Friday – a somber day commemorating Christ’s death, in … Continue reading

Ferdinand and Isabella Were Cowards.

In researching for a writing project I came across my old books on Judaism in Spain from when I was living in Madrid. In particular I found my copy of the Alhambra Decree, or the 1492 Charter of the Expulsion of the Jews. The Spanish Inquisition had been underway for a while at that point, … Continue reading

Jeremiahs or Babel-Builders?

This article depresses me. And this one. And this one. If you can believe it, what gets me down is not the slideshow from the Washington Post showing victims of the Horn of Africa famine. What depresses me is that, with my husband studying most days now, I have few people to talk with about … Continue reading

Yerushalayim Shel Zahav

“Yerushalayim Shel Zahav” as performed by Ofra Haza. With photographs of Jerusalem by Nicolas Weinberg, shot between December 2009 and February 2010. A pro-Israel song, with an interesting visual portrayal of Jerusalem today. I’ve included a translation of the lyrics below the film. Have a great weekend! Yerushalayim Shel Zahav Jerusalem of Gold Verse 1: … Continue reading

Why Palestine?

Recently this blog began dedicating a regular column to the Israeli/Palestinian situation – its conflicts, its history, and most importantly, its people. Why write about Palestine on a blog about forced migration? They seem pretty settled, with homes and jobs. The Palestinian experience usually looks nothing like that of women in the Congo, fleeing for … Continue reading

First Zionist Settlement

I found this map intriguing, since it reminded me a little of old Where’s Waldo books. Try to find the tiny black circle. What an interesting period in Israel’s history. It is credited to PASSIA – the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs – in Jerusalem.

Collateral Damage: Palestinian Christians

Many Arabs living in Palestine and in Palestinian refugee camps are Christians. With centuries of history in the region and a peaceful relationship with the Muslim Palestinian community, these Christian make up a unique and vital part of the Christian Church as a whole. Palestinian Christian wedding, Beit Jala near Jerusalem, 1940 – public domain … Continue reading

Faith-Based and Slave-Free

Many churches, temples and other faith-based organizations serve coffee, tea and cocoa to their attendants. Increasingly these groups want to see their consumer choices reflect a heart for justice and compassion, so many are turning to Fair Trade and other ethically grown products. Why the switch? Cocoa farms in West Africa grow most of the … Continue reading

Collateral Damage

Today we’re starting a regular series on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and its effects on forced migration. The last 60-70 years in this region have arguably seen some of the most large-scale displacement in world history, from Jewish families leaving the fallen, war-torn Nazi Germany to the humanitarian crisis of Palestinian refugee camps. If you have … Continue reading

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