Category: 20s & 30s RSS feed for this section

Introducing the URJ’s 2020 Vision: A Clear View of Our Future



When Rabbi Rick Jacobs assumed the presidency of the Union for Reform Judaism two years ago, the URJ committed to develop more coherent and aligned services that not only would significantly strengthen Reform congregations and the pressing issues they face, but also would advance the mission and ideals of Reform Judaism. To understand the needs […]

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Now Introducing Bonim Kehilah for Jewish Young Adults



Much has been written about millennials and how they’re constructing adult lives: They live at home longer, marry later, and are less likely to affiliate with political and religious institutions than ever before. It follows that those young adults looking for sustained, meaningful Jewish engagement find few entry points into the current communal landscape. Without […]

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The Porch: It’s Southern, It’s Open, and It’s Jewish



For the past 18 months, the URJ supported three “Communities of Practice,” cohorts of congregations that came together to learn, discuss, and experiment in a specific field. Members from participating congregations have been asked to reflect about their process. by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas When I was ordained a cantor in 2011, I never imagined […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs

What Is Audacious Hospitality?



The Jewish people is here today because those who came before us were audacious. By that I mean courageous, fearless, and bold. Genesis teaches us to practice audacious hospitality. On a blisteringly hot day, Abraham runs after three desert wanderers, insisting they come inside for nourishment. What makes his act so memorable is not waiting […]

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Don’t Give Up on Jews Who Care About Being Jewish



Last week, the Pew Center for Research released a new study of American Jews that is still reverberating throughout the Jewish world and beyond. But so much of the analysis has been locked into binary categories: Who won and who lost? Is the glass half full or half empty? Are Jews a religion or a […]

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I Fell in Love at the URJ Biennial



by Adena Kemper My fiance Sean and I are getting married on December 8th. When our family and friends ask us where we are going for our honeymoon, we laugh and say, “To the URJ Biennial in San Diego of course!” We didn’t intentionally set our wedding date only days before the convention where we […]

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Literally Unpacking My Birthright Experience



Interview with Michelle Cahn Birthright alum Michelle Cahn just started unpacking from her trip to Israel (literally) with Bus 639 in June. Michelle, who recently graduated from college where she studied theatre directing, is an aspiring artist and director who fell in love with hummus and za’atar on the trip. Her favorite experience? “I loved […]

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How to Get Jews to Synagogue? Go to Church.



by Rachel Loftspring My best friend is a devout Christian; I am a secular Jew. She says grace before every meal; I occasionally raise a glass in l’chaim (more often, though, a simple cheers). She goes to church or watches it online nearly every Sunday; I haven’t been to synagogue in ages. On a recent […]

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The Youngest Member of My Sisterhood



As a member of the coveted “younger woman” demographic, I often get asked how I got involved with the sisterhood at my temple. I think people are hoping that I will give them a magical answer that will unlock the mystery of how to get these women to join their temple sisterhood. Sorry, I don’t […]

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Internet Round-Up: The Best Jewish Stories on the Web



Here are just a few of the recent stories from across the web that speak directly to (and about) Reform Jews. What Jewish stories have you been reading recently? Leave a comment and let us know! “Why Millennials are Leaving the Church,” CNN’s Belief Blog Christian author Rachel Held Evans writes of young Christians like […]

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Our Temple President Just Turned 40!



by Rabbi Erin Polansky Our temple president just turned 40 – but those are not words commonly heard in synagogue boardrooms. In his second year of leadership and our congregation’s second year of existence, Neshamah Congregation’s president has just celebrated his fortieth birthday. Why is this noteworthy? Because while other congregations are bemoaning the disappearance […]

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Not Your Bubbe’s Shabbat: Join Us at SXSW!



Jews young and old are searching for innovative and contemporary ways to explore their heritage. Reform congregations have been experimenting with different liturgical melodies for years, and urban minyanim experiences like the Riverway Project in Boston are fostering new and dynamic worship and learning experiences. WAREHOUSE ATX, March 15th at the South by Southwest Festival […]

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Two Jobs Are Better Than One



by Steven Portnoy The mission of the Men of Reform Judaism’s (MRJ) Reform on Campus (ROC) committee is “to assist students in creating meaningful Reform Jewish experiences on campus that will lead them to being active and involved Reform Jews for life.” Because I have been an involved member of this committee for eight years, […]

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On a Camel and a Prayer: Discovering my “Jewishness” in Israel



by Ashley Hufford I was raised Jewish.  I went to Hebrew pre-school, then a bi-weekly Hebrew school. I had a bat mitzvah and even a confirmation, but I never considered myself that Jewish. I always said “I’m Jewish with a focus on the ‘ish.’” It often garnered a laugh, but I also thought it was […]

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