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In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, the University of Oxford is considering reforms to make its music curriculum less Eurocentric. Proposed changes go well beyond broadening the curriculum from a focus on 19th-century Europe, to be more inclusive of world music. According to the Daily Mail, a document even suggested that teaching musical notation — because of its association with the colonial period — would be harmful to some students. Because of the curriculum’s focus on white European music, the music curriculum would even become optional rather than mandatory.

I remember my own high school music curriculum…

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Peter Beinart’s July 2020 call in Jewish Currents for a one-equal-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was heavily criticized for allowing Israel’s electorate to have a non-Jewish majority. However, the alternative advocated by most of Beinart’s opponents — the two-state solution — has major problems of its own. …

Would coffee become forbidden on the Jewish holiday of Passover? Not on Maxwell House’s watch

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By the 1930s, about 4.5 million Jews were living in the United States. The American Jewish population had increased almost 20-fold in 50 years. Most of the newly arrived Jews were immigrants from various parts of Eastern Europe, escaping the pogroms and other persecution and hoping for better opportunities in America. Many were quite traditional in their practices.

This sizable new market presented new marketing opportunities. Some of these opportunities related to the spring holiday of Passover or Pesach, a major Jewish festival. Passover, which has the same name as Easter in many languages, is traditionally an eight-day holiday in…

By writing to pen pals as a child, I learned many lessons to apply to the promotional writing I do today

Several letters on a desk with roses placed near them.
Several letters on a desk with roses placed near them.
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My old pen pals’ letters still sit in my childhood home. I wrote to many people, on and off, some for months or years. I wrote so many letters over the course of my childhood, two drawers are filled with them. Many of them are still sorted by person, by time period, by location in the world, and by how I found the pen pal.

Pen Pals Taught Me Responsibility and Follow-Through

My first pen pal, at five years old, was a much older boy I had met on a family vacation to Toronto. He was drawing an Allosaurus at the Royal Ontario Museum, and I marveled…

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I’m a former homeschooler. I was homeschooled in the early and mid-1990s, from grades four through eight, which gives you an idea that I’ve lived through the growth of the Internet and am now entering middle age. I was homeschooled because I was several grades ahead of the standard curriculum, depending on the subject, and it would not be until high school that I could take advantage of the magnet schools my city had.

Homeschooling had been legal in the U.S. for a few decades before I did it. It had grown in popularity, and the news articles from then…

Thank you for sharing this! Congratulations on seeing a light in this long tunnel. Where do you tend to publish, may I ask? Obviously here, but any other suggestions of places to write for? That might be a good article if you don't have it already.

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In the past year, nearly 80 million people — or 1 percent of the world’s population — qualified as refugees or as internally displaced, according to the United Nations. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, this number increased by 9 million in the past year and has doubled from a decade ago. With population growth and environmental destruction, the number and proportion of refugees may increase even more.

The greatest numbers of refugees are Syrians, Venezuelans, Afghans, South Sudanese, and Rohingya. Contrary to the stereotype that they are looking to live in the West, three-quarters will seek asylum in neighboring countries. …

Experts in many fields are at your fingertips, ready to give you personalized answers. Here’s how to find them.

A big, glowing question mark in a dark room.
A big, glowing question mark in a dark room.
Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

If you can’t find the answer to a question you have, don’t despair. The internet is your friend. One type of site that is still underused, even years after they’ve been created, is the question-answering site. Several good question-answering platforms exist.


Quora was founded in 2009. Its goal is to contain all the world’s questions. It’s full of personal stories and essays with experts’ thinking and advice. Although many people have created accounts, not everyone knows how to use the site.

Joining Quora and accessing all content is free. Log in with the type of social media you’re most comfortable…

Sunday, February 21

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On Sunday, February 21, Quora’s Israel-Palestine peace community Unity is Strength is holding a Zoom meet and greet. The Medium community is invited. You can get to meet some of Quora’s prominent writers about the topic and learn a bit about us.

The open Zoom call will start at 10 AM Pacific time/1 PM New York time/8 PM Jerusalem time and will run for an hour and a half. RSVP here.

Immediately after, you are encouraged to join the organization Roots/Shorashim/Judur in its event “How the International Community can help create long-term change in Israel/Palestine.” …

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When you code, you sometimes learn quite a bit from an extra pair of eyes reading your work, catching your mistakes, and telling you what to do better. In many courses, instructors or at least teaching assistants will manually read your code and provide this feedback. Some courses, however, are self-paced courses and you will not get customized feedback from an instructor. Even in these types of courses, there are ways for you to learn from others.

Check relevant question-and-answer sites

Even a very talented programmer who knows the documentation will often make programming mistakes, especially at the beginning. They may not immediately realize…

Rebecca Sealfon

Former software engineer at Google, U.S. National Spelling Bee champion, and synesthete, based in New York, NY. Loves books, liberal Judaism, and nature.

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