Belonging is a dying art.

The more we’re urged to think about who we are—about what we believe, about where we come from, about what and who we love—the more complicated it is for us to just be, comfortable in the knowledge that we, well, just belong.

Today, we’ve three stories about finding and losing our place in the world: One that tracks a young American woman as she searches Berlin—and her family’s history—for her lost passport; one that see-saws between South Africa and Israel, contemplating pride and prejudice; and one bids farewell to a shul but not to faith.

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My Parents’ Israel, My Apartheid

A South African goes home to Israel

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Becoming an Unaffiliated Jew: Why I Left My Synagogue

There were a lot of little reasons I was unhappy. But ultimately, I realized I didn’t need to belong to a temple to feel Jewish.

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End of the Line

A lost German passport—and tenuous ties to citizenship—cause a bureaucratic nightmare and a revelation about place and belonging

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