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How a Whole Congregation Wrote its Rabbi’s Yom Kippur Sermon



Utilizing a process called the Social Sermon, I developed my Yom Kippur morning sermon this year in partnership with Facebook Friends, TED ,and a group of insightful congregants. To be blunt, this year, the whole Congregation Or Ami wrote its rabbi’s Yom Kippur sermon. Where Great Sermon Ideas Come From Rabbis explore sermon ideas from […]

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Tishah B’Av 5773 in Retrospect: Reflections from a Neo-Classical Reform Jew



by Jordan Friedman This year, I did something I’ve never really done before in my entire life. I observed  Tishah B’Av. I went to the home of a very dear friend who is used to marking the solemn day in semi-traditional fashion: by fasting and contemplating all historic tragedies that have befallen the Jews and, […]

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Debatable: Should We Offer Free High Holy Days Tickets to Non-Members?



by Steve Friedman and Maxine Sukenik One congregational leader says yes; another says no. Each shares their perspective on this age-old congregational debate. What do you think? What does your congregation do? Read Steve and Maxine’s views, below, and chime in with your own. “YES! No Tickets = No Barriers” by Steve Friedman, past president […]

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Congregational Resources for the High Holy Days



Can it already be the second week of July? Unbelievable as it may seem, this week means something big for congregations: The High Holy Days are less than two months away! With Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur quickly approaching, many congregations are already busy preparing. The URJ has a number of resources to help your […]

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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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