Category: Biennial-2011 RSS feed for this section

Having the Back of Kids Outside Our Walls: The Charge from our President at URJ Biennial 2011



by Rabbi Robert Nosanchuk Near the end of Genesis, Jacob encounters his grandsons- whom he never thought he’d have the blessing to see. He asks the boys “who are you?” in a familiar peek-a-boo trick of aging grandpas on the young people in their families.  But all kidding aside, Jacob draws them close to offer […]

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Ready for Change



by Dusty Klass I am so full of emotions that I am finding it hard to begin this post. My brain is full, my heart is full, and good gracious have the rooms been full – even overflowing, with grown men and women settling down on the floor, sitting cross-legged in their business-casual attire. The […]

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A Reform — And Personal — Paradigm Shift



by Rabbi Elyse Goldstein I last went to the Biennial Convention of the Union for Reform Judaism twenty years ago. A very large and professional conference, sometimes having as many as four or five thousand people, it is meant for congregational leaders and congregational clergy from the 900 North American Reform synagogues to come together […]

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A Potpourri of Jewish Music



If you attended the URJ’s recent Biennial convention, you were, as always, treated to an array of terrific Jewish music from the likes of David Broza, Josh Nelson, Julie Silver, Dan Nichols, Joe Black, Noah Aronson, Michelle Citrin, Peri Smilow, and a host of others.  These dedicated and talented musicians kept our toes tapping, our […]

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Chairman’s Address to the URJ Biennial



by Stephen Sacks Thank you Eric and thank you all for the great honor you have bestowed on me. I stand here today as a member of three different Reform congregations in North America.  Temple Shalom of Chevy Chase, Maryland, Temple Sinai of Washington, D.C., and our third congregation — the one i want to […]

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Since Last Biennial



by Rabbi Daniel Freelander Since we last gathered for a Biennial convention two years ago in Toronto, the Union for Reform Judaism has been hard at work strengthening Reform Judaism in North America. We have had two interesting years of growth, of challenges and excitement with an eye to the future.

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Hineni Biennial: The Enduring Legacy of Seth Erlebacher



Just ten days ago, thousands of us left Washington, DC, inspired and uplifted by the largest, and by acclamation the best, Biennial in URJ history.  Nearly 6000 Reform Jewish leaders of all ages gathered from 48 states and Canada representing over 540 congregations.   The music and the insights keep echoing within each of us, a […]

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Summit Reflections



by Dr. Jonathan Woocher It was an honor for me to have been invited to kick off the Education Summit at the recent URJ Biennial, and gratifying to hear from so many participants that my remarks struck a responsive chord.  That response, the huge number of people that attended the Summit, and the enthusiasm with […]

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We Can Welcome Every Youth



by Stephen Weitzman Wow!  What a Biennial! As Chair of the URJ Special Needs Camping Committee I tend to see the things through glasses that say – “All of us have special needs – even if we can’t explain or define them.”  And regardless of our needs we all want to be included and nurtured. […]

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Launching the Campaign for Youth Engagement at the 2011 URJ Biennial



Boker Tov! Zeh hayom asa Adonai, nagila ve-nismcha bo! This is a day that GOD has given us; Let us rejoice and be glad in it! I am so deeply honored to stand before you as the next Senior Vice President of the Union for Reform Judaism. I grew up in this Movement. My father […]

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Galilee Diary: Exile?



Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to the exiles whom I exiled from Jerusalem to Babylonia:  Build houses and dwell in them and plant gardens and eat their fruit.  Take wives and beget sons and daughters, and take for your sons wives and for your daughters husbands, that they will have […]

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Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath presents President John F. Kennedy with a Torah scroll that had belonged to Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise.

Introduction of President Obama



You may be wondering why I called you here today. I will not pretend to introduce President Barack Obama as if you do not know who he is. You do. The world does. And we know that across the panorama of American history, the sea-changes of our national journey are often marked by extraordinary people. […]

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Rabbi Rick Jacobs

At the End of Two Years



Prepared Remarks Washington, DC Biennial 2011 December 18, 2011–22 Kislev 5772 This Biennial is almost over but we’re just getting started.  What a humbling responsibility you have placed on my shoulders; what a tremendous opportunity we have to shape the Jewish future with imagination, courage and commitment.

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Rabbi Eric Yoffie

2011 URJ Biennial – Presidential Shabbat Sermon



National Harbor, MD December 17, 2011 We gather again on this Shabbat as a Reform family – experiencing together these precious hours of sacred time, praying as only we know how. Shabbat, above all, is a time for celebration and praising God – and that is what we have done. As usual at these services, […]

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