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Spring Time in Israel



by Loui Dobin As I am writing these words, I am on a plane home from Israel. We took off a couple of hours ago and have just crossed the coast of France. Now that we are “feet-wet” over the North Atlantic, I have had a little time to think about my trip. I landed on the eve […]

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The New Reform Machzor and the Shofar Service



By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg Part One: Don’t “Bury the Lead,” or Why We Have Placed the Shofar Service into Three Parts of the Service The traditional High Holy Day prayer book, as opposed to the Reform versions produced in the last century and more, includes a service, musaf, that evokes the ancient sacrifices.  Reform Judaism abandoned […]

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The Other Camp that Started in Kunkletown, PA



by Beth Kanofsky Shalom from Israel! I have the pleasure of traveling to Israel to be part of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Shlichim Training Seminar this year (and I’ll share an update from that soon). I traveled to Israel two days prior to the start of the training to be here for Yom HaZikaron, […]

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The Shofar Service: Malchiyot, Zichronot, Shofarot



By Rabbi Richard Sarason The blowing of the shofar is surely one of the high points of the Rosh Hashanah morning service. But the “Shofar Service” as the discrete entity we know today is actually a creation of Reform liturgists. Located at the end of the Torah service, before the Torah is returned to the ark, and […]

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Israel Pauses to Remember its Fallen



Sirens were sounded throughout Israel at 8 PM on Sunday night and 11 AM this morning in Israel, in memory of the more than 25,000 fallen Israeli soldiers and terror victims. As the Jewish state ushered in Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, the nation, and indeed the Jewish world, paused to reflect on the cost […]

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Israel Turns 65: Special Yom Ha’atzmaut Live Broadcast



Celebrate Israel’s birthday with the Reform Movement! You’re invited to join friends from across the world for a special celebration of Israel’s 65th Birthday, broadcast live from Kehillat Yozma in Modi’in, Israel. On Monday, April 15th, ARZA and the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism will host a special online “Havdalah” ceremony to mark the conclusion […]

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The Music of Avinu Malkeinu



By Cantor Hayley Kobilinsky In the game “Truth-or-Dare,” I choose “truth” nearly every time. I’m not much of a dare-taker. Thus, if you and I were playing “Special Edition Truth-or-Dare: High Holy Days,” I would confess that the prayer Avinu Malkeinu provides me with both my second-favorite liturgical moment and my second-greatest pet peeve of the […]

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Remembering Rwanda on Yom Hashoah



On Yom Hashoah we remember the great tragedy that we as a people and as a world faced during World War II over 60 years ago. But how do we use that memory today? To what end does that experience motivate our community? Surely one answer is that we as a people must be particularly […]

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A Sense of Community



Today is Yom Hashoah, the remembrance day for the Holocaust. This day is a very emotional and heart wrenching time for Israelis, as many have family members who were in the Holocaust or are survivors.

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The Tamchui Project: Teaching Kids the Mitzvah of Helping Those in Need



by Jacki Hart and Stephanie Rotsky Still relatively green as parents, choosing a school for our then-4-year-old and nearly-6-year-old felt like a major “grown up” responsibility. What would they learn; how would they be taught? Would the school nurture their nature? And could the school selection influence who they might become? The emphasis on social […]

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And We Remember



“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” ― Elie Wiesel Sixty-seven years ago perhaps the greatest travesty of the modern era came to a close as the Holocaust was finally was exiled to the dust of history. The images, testimonials and artifacts of Nazi Germany’s attempt to exterminate the Jews, Gypsies, Gays and other […]

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NFTY-MV: Understanding Modern Day Slavery



Each year, as the grocery stores begin to display their Pesach foods, I, without fail, think to myself “Passover time already?!” Each year, we are commanded to “regard ourselves as if we ourselves went forth from the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 13:8) so that we can feel how sweet freedom is.

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Finding Redemption…At Camp



Coming to camp has many parallels with the Exodus story. When campers get ready for that first summer at camp, they are leaving everything they know; they are leaving home for an unknown land; they have to have faith that it will all work out in the end. (And, no, I’m not saying that our lives at home are Egypt or that parents are enslaving their kids… it’s an imperfect metaphor, but still one that is valuable.)

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Avinu Malkeinu: Its Meaning and Historical Background



By Rabbi Richard Sarason It is an irony of history that the very language now so controversial in Avinu Malkeinu (namely, the masculine-gendered, hierarchical images of God as “Father” and “King”) is what made this prayerful appeal so distinctive and effective for its original users. Avinu Malkeinu is a penitential litany.  That means that it […]

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