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Our Second Annual Rosh Hashanah Sermon Round-Up



This was the year that Reform rabbis spoke about race. More than 200 rabbis participated the NAACP’s Journey for Justice, and it gave rise to some powerful sermons. (Read on for links to sermons by Eli Kramer and rabbis Biatch, Chasen,  Knight and Herzog Cohen, Miller, Perlman, Soffer, Spinrad, and Stein.) There were many more, […]

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First (Probably) Annual Rosh HaShanah Sermon Round-Up



What did Reform rabbis talk to their congregations about this Rosh HaShanah? Based on my totally non-scientific survey, Israel was far and away the most popular topic. (Read on for links to sermons by rabbis Block, Bob, Davidson, Gropper, Gurvis, A. Hirsch, Kipnes, Kaufman, Ottenstein, and Prosnit.) That is true many years, and given the […]

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Christian Leaders Offer Prayers, Consolation after Kansas Shooting



Our friends from the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offered their sympathy this week for those affected by Sunday’s deadly shootings at two Jewish communities in a suburb of Kansas City, KS. As you surely know, three people were killed by gunfire, including a grandfather and his 14-year-old grandson. […]

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It’s Not Too Early to Make Your Biennial Travel Plans!



The 2013 URJ Biennial in San Diego will have all the learning, praying, singing, celebrating, and socializing that URJ Biennials have always had – but it will also have a number of new sessions that you won’t want to miss. Don’t miss the Wednesday afternoon (December 11th) “Intensives.” In response to your feedback that you […]

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A Shehecheyanu Moment



It’s been more than a year since I left behind the Religious Action Center in Washington for the not-really-greener pastures of the Union’s headquarters in New York.  I have always been a political junkie, and many of my friends and colleagues ask me still if I miss the politics.  The honest answer is: no.  I […]

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Community: Debbie Friedman’s Gift to Us



I thought I knew the work of Debbie Friedman.  Debbie, whose second yahrzeit we observed this week, was a beloved and familiar presence at URJ Biennials, in our congregations, and at our camps.  I know that many of the melodies we sing, the songs that, as much as anything, bind us together as a Movement, […]

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Detroit: Because We Could Not Stay Away



As the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism gathers for its twice yearly meeting in Detroit, MI, a few of you have asked me – and I’ve overheard more of you asking one another: — “Why are we here in Detroit?” Our meeting here is the result of a 10-year campaign by one very […]

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Reports from the “Values Voters Summit”



It’s hard to know where to begin a discussion of the appearances of the GOP presidential candidates at the Family Research Council’s “Values Voters Summit.”  For now, here are some links.  My own analysis will follow tomorrow.

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A Death in the Family: Hitchens Brings the War Home (to his House)



Even more ink has been spilled over the war in Iraq than blood has been shed (and that’s saying a lot).  So it is not a small thing when I say that a recent essay by Christopher Hitchens in Vanity Fair magazine is the most interesting, most provocative, most powerful piece I have read about […]

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“The Nine:” What Really Matters at the Supreme Court



I have just finished reading the very readable “The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court” by CNN and New Yorker Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

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“Their plight is our shame and their promise is our future”



Tonight (Thursday) the Senate voted 67-29 to provide health insurance to 4 million uncovered children under the critical S-CHIP program.  The House approved the program earlier this week.  President Bush has said he will veto the bill, setting up crucial veto override votes in the House and Senate.  (Details on the vote are here; our […]

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Constitutional Facts & Myths



I have been carrying around this recent study by the First Amendment Center for a week now, trying to figure out what to make of it.

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It’s (still) the Economy, Stupid (even for Religious Voters)



The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, which is quickly becoming one of the most valuable resources for data on religion, politics, and their influence on one another, has a very interesting new poll out on “Religion and Campaign 08.”  (For the hard core among you, the questionnaire itself is available here.)  

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Limbaugh on Darfur: It’s All Politics



It’s not easy for Rush Limbaugh to say something so outrageous that it rises above his run of the mill outrageousness.  But he did so last week.  Rush (I hope he does not mind my being so informal) believes that the Democrats are only interested in the situation in Darfur because it allows them to […]

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