Jacob Bender

Director’s Desk: Justice for Sanaa!

Under a blistering sun, I joined nearly 100 activists and religious leaders from the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities who had gathered yesterday on the steps of the Montgomery County Court House to voice support for Sanaa Beaufort, an African American Muslim student at North Penn High School in Montgomery County.
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Director’s Desk: Thoughts about Juneteenth

Slavery made this nation rich. At its height, slavery was a $3 billion-plus industry and a major engine of the U.S. economy. Industries throughout the states both supported, and were supported by, slavery. By 1850, 80% of American exports were the product of slave labor. The estimated value of enslaved people increased 500% between 1790 and 1860, from $200 million to around $3.059 billion.
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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On the afternoon of the 4th day of April

I was on the way home from school when I heard on the radio about the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis. Walking into our family home, I found my father sitting in front of the television, watching news of the assassination, his body already racked by the spreading cancer that would kill him exactly one year later. He was crying. It was the only time I ever saw my father cry.
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In Memory of Dr. Anis Al-Qasem

At the age of 95, Dr. Anis Al-Qasem returned to God in Alicante, Spain, surrounded by his wife Amal and their children. The Palestinian community around the world and its political, legal, and social leaders and institutions mourned his death, as did much of the Arab media.
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Impeachment NOW!

The real threat to American democracy was on full display yesterday, as it is woven into the very fabric of this nation by the “peculiar institution” of chattel slavery and buttressed and justified by the ideology of white supremacy.
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“The Year of the Plagues” by Jacob Bender

One hundred years ago, 680,000 Americans died in the Spanish Flu Pandemic that ravaged the United States, with Philadelphia being the worst hit city in the nation. Among the dead was my grandfather Yitzhak Bendersky, who had emigrated from Russia to America only a few years before in search of a better life for his family and himself.
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Director’s Desk: What Now?

“No one can stand up against the authority of truth, and the evil of falsehood is to be fought with enlightening speculation.” ― Ibn Khaldun, “The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History” What better description of the times we live in than these words, penned six centuries ago by Ibn Khaldun, the towering genius of the medieval Arab world, indeed of any age. In the end, Ibn Khaldun is telling us, the tyrant will always fall, and the truth will always prevail.
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