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Apply for Taste of Judaism™ Advertising Grants!



The URJ is now accepting applications for 2014-2015 Taste of Judaism™ Advertising Grants. Since 1994, A Taste of Judaism: Are You Curious?™ has engaged nearly 100,000 individuals searching for an easy access point to liberal Jewish life. Classes are advertised as “open to all, Jewish or not.” We want you to consider making Taste™ a […]

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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 webosphere that speak directly to (and about) Reform Jews. What Jewish stories have you been reading recently? Leave a comment and let us know! “The War Against Intermarriage Has Been Lost: Now What?” JTA With the rate of intermarriage within the Jewish community […]

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We’re Offering Grants for Congregations to Host Taste of Judaism™ Classes



Is your congregation interested in offering classes on “Judaism 101″? The Union for Reform Judaism is offering grants to help congregations offer Taste of Judaism™, a free, three-session class for beginners – Jewish or not – that explores the topics of Jewish spirituality, ethics and community values. Taste of Judaism™ is a high-visibility, low-threshold program […]

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Comfort & Community: Welcoming the Stranger in Both Action and Word



by Rabbi Benjamin J. Zeidman The last time you were in another synagogue, how did you feel? What was it like? Did you know anyone else there? Did anyone say hello? Did you feel that it was a place you belonged, a home away from home? In working with conversion students, I often surprise them […]

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Lights of Hanukkah: A Blending of Traditions



by Marjorie Freeman My husband attended a Southern Baptist Church with his grandmother as a small child, and then a Methodist Church with his parents and with his first wife. We married, and the wise Reform rabbi who married us, Rabbi Robert Rothman of the Community Synagogue in Rye, NY, suggested that my new husband bring […]

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Journey to Judaism



by Chris Haley This is the story of a gentile from a small Southern town who found a spiritual home in Reform Judaism, became Jewish, and assumed a professional leadership role in the Reform Movement in New York City. I grew up in Tennessee in a small town named Shelbyville, located about an hour south […]

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Beyond the Mission Statement



by Erika Davis My path to Judaism is similar to most Jews by choice. After years of spiritual searching and longing, I turned toward Judaism because of the tradition, because it is the seed of monotheistic religion, because it’s where I was able to connect to G-d in a real and powerful way. My excitement […]

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Why We Love Jews By Choice



Each month, we at the URJ choose a theme to spotlight on our blog and throughout our other online mediums. All throughout the month of June, we’ll be focusing on the theme Expanding Our Reach, the many ways we welcome and embrace those looking for a home in our congregational communities, including interfaith couples and […]

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The Conversation We Should Have…



I knew a woman whose husband was having trouble getting work. He was offered a position quite far from home, but times were tough so they took their two sons and moved. The family did well, the boys grew and married, and life moved forward. Unfortunately, the husband became ill and died. Shortly after that, […]

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Judaism: Fresh is Best



by Rabbi Thomas Gardner I once read an autobiography called Turbulent Souls, written by a man who grew up Catholic. It was only after he had become an adult that he learned that both of his parents had been born Jewish. My favorite part of the book was when he acknowledged that he probably should […]

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Embracing a Jewish Life and Values



by Kenneth David Shoji At my Bet Din, one of three Rabbis who interviewed me told me that Judaism has been described as a faith of “Pots and Pans.” She further explained that Judaism was about doing and acting in everyday life, not just having a belief but carrying out actions and practices as part […]

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Public Affirmation



by Janine PrestonTemple Or Rishon, Orangevale, CA Anyone who really, really knows me was not surprised to receive the announcement of my conversion to Judaism. When I very seriously told my two best friends from college about my decision last fall, they started to laugh. “Janine,” they said, “you have been talking about this since […]

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Feeling Jewish



by Stephanie Seiberg Temple Emanuel, Kensington, MD When I decided to convert I wondered often if I would ever really feel Jewish? I never could have anticipated that the death of my non-Jewish father would be the event that would take me there. I had married a Jewish man several years before my father died. […]

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Conversion: Who is the Gate Keeper



By Rabbi Peter Knobel I just had the privilege of representing the Reform movement on a panel “Conversion: Who Is the Gate Keeper of the Jewish Nation” at the Israeli President’s Conference in Jerusalem, Facing Tomorrow.  These are my opening remarks: The time has come to finally recognize the religious streams as the gatekeepers of […]

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